TTIP matters for patients and the global economy alike

Andrew Hotchkiss, President of Europe, Canada & Australia at Eli Lilly and Company, explores how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) can benefit the patients of tomorrow.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest innovators to ever walk the Earth, once said “We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

As usual, Einstein was right. If we don’t fix the problems of yesterday, our success of tomorrow is doomed to stagnate – or even fail. And one of the causalities will be innovation and the fruits it can produce.

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes – from faster cars to sleeker phones. It also comes in the form of better medicines: newer and better treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. And by fixing the problems of yesterday, such as regulatory barriers and inadequate intellectual property protection, our industry can deliver solutions to the patients of tomorrow.

“If we don’t fix the problems of yesterday, our success of tomorrow is doomed to stagnate – or even fail.”

Barriers that hold up innovation can be addressed in the new trade agreement being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. The agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), is a potential gateway to medical discovery that would benefit patients from around the world.

TTIP is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy. Eli Lilly and Company invests €450 million annually in European research and development and employs 9,000 European employees, so we recognize the critical nature of this opportunity. Just last month at the Brussels Forum, and earlier this month at a European Voice / Washington Post Live event in Paris, we talked about our top three objectives of TTIP:

• Regulatory convergence: an agreement between regulators could reduce duplication and reduce unnecessary delays in the approval process.

• Intellectual property standards: innovation, along with the economic growth that it drives, must be protected and promoted.

• Transparency of government pricing and reimbursement policies: rather than creating obstacles to trade, the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, objectivity and predictability – along with promoting access to innovative treatments – should be observed.

The consequences of a new European-U.S. trade agreement are big, but not only for our industry. Our respective economies would benefit like no time in recent history. The deal is estimated to boost the EU’s economy by €120 billion, the U.S. economy by €90 billion and the rest of the world by €100 billion. Combined, the U.S. and European Union account for about half global output and trade.

“TTIP is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy.”

For our industry – and, by extension, patients who are desperate for better treatments – the stakes are equally big: Europe and the U.S. account for more than 80 percent of global sales of new medicines, 75 percent of global life sciences R&D and 1.4 million jobs.

Good jobs shoulder a big load of the economy (IP-intensive industries like ours drive 39 percent of Europe’s GDP, one-third of Europe’s jobs, and 90 percent of EU’s exports). Equally important, these are jobs that could produce a new innovative treatment that addresses a vexing disease. We don’t know who will find a critical solution to Alzheimer’s disease, or an innovative approach to breast cancer – and we can’t afford to hold back. Roughly 1 of every 10,000 molecules discovered results in a medicine for patients, and every new drug requires more than a decade of research and development.

We can create a world of new possibilities with a solid TTIP agreement. By protecting intellectual property, eliminating regulatory duplication and red tape, and supporting access to new innovative treatments, patients and the economy alike can come out as winners.

 

About the author:

Andrew Hotchkiss is President of Europe, Canada & Australia for Eli Lilly and Company. . Born in Doncaster in 1962, Andrew received a BSc honours degree in Biochemistry from University College, Cardiff.

After graduating in 1985, Andrew joined Lilly in the UK, as a Sales Representative in Hampshire.

Andrew was appointed to the position of Director, Strategic Planning and Business Development for the Global Infectious Disease Business Unit in 1996. Later that year, he was named Director of Marketing Plans for the CNS products in the US affiliate where he led the launch of Zyprexa into the US market.

Andrew was appointed General Manager of Lilly Italy, based in Florence, in 1999 subsequently becoming General Manager of the UK and Ireland in July 2003.

In October 2009 he was named Vice President, International Lilly Oncology.

In June 2011, Andrew was appointed to the role of President of Operations for Australia, Canada & Europe.

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