Richard Francis outlines vision for sustainable healthcare in keynote speech at EyeforPharma
An ageing society and continuously rising healthcare costs pose significant challenges for healthcare systems and industry alike, and call for a change in how the pharmaceutical industry operates, says Sandoz Division Head and CEO Richard Francis.
Barcelona, March 14 - An ageing society and continuously rising healthcare costs pose significant challenges for healthcare systems and industry alike, and call for a change in how the pharmaceutical industry operates, says Sandoz Division Head and CEO Richard Francis.
Addressing an audience of industry executives, healthcare professionals and patient organizations in a keynote, Francis said: “Ensuring access to medicines is one of the biggest opportunities we have to change the fate of mankind. There are two billion people in the world today who do not have access to the medicines they need.”
He stressed the critical importance of sustainable universal access as a global healthcare objective: 2 billion people are without access to medicine, 400 million people lack access to essential health services, and we still have 2 million cases of preventable annual deaths due to malaria and tuberculosis worldwide, while the global cost of healthcare has risen to 7.35 trillion US dollars1.
Francis went on to outline the key demographic factors (particularly a growing and ageing population) that combine with rising healthcare costs to create an increasingly unsustainable global healthcare system.
Outlining his vision of the future, he highlighted the need for a change in the pharmaceutical industry business model, to drive long-term system sustainability by a greater focus on patient outcomes.
Said Francis: “Innovation is part of the solution: it is about both innovation in therapies and innovation in delivery and access to medicines. And we need to work on both ends: as long as we don't get innovation in the hands of patients, it is pretty irrelevant."
He cited the example of cutting-edge biologic medicines, noting that only one in 10 psoriasis patients today has access to the biologic treatment they need2. Biosimilars, in which Sandoz is the pioneer and global leader, “can help improve outcomes and free up resources that can be reinvested in further innovation".
Francis concluded: “It’s all about having the right therapy, at the right time, for the right patient - all the time and wherever they are in the world."