European pharmaceutical research and development: Could public infrastructure overcome market failures?

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Series Details PE 697.197
Publication Date December 2021
ISBN 978-92-846-8722-0
EC QA-07-21-063-EN-N
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With a focus on research and development in the area of innovative medicines, this study discusses a new European approach to pharmaceutical policy. After examining the European pharmaceutical sector's features, and the strengths and weaknesses of the current research and business model, the study explores the need for and the concept of a European infrastructure with a long-term transboundary mission.

Any such European medicines infrastructure should focus on threats and areas of research and development that are underinvested under the current business model. More specifically, the study uses an extensive literature review and a targeted survey of international experts from science, industry, public health and government institutions, to investigate the feasibility of different options in terms of the scope of the mission, and legal, organisational and financial arrangements for establishing such a European infrastructure.

On the basis of their research, the authors present a range of policy options. The most ambitious of these considers a Europe-wide public infrastructure equipped with budgetary autonomy and home-grown research and development capacity. This organisation would be tasked with building a portfolio of new medicines and related biomedical technologies up to the delivery stage, over the course of 30 years, in partnership with third-party research centres at national or European level and with companies. It would be the most important global player in biomedical innovation in the world.

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