Why is talc used in generic drugs

This is how our digital spring talk went!

Experts, politicians and industry representatives discussed
more stable supply chains and more security of supply

The COVID-19 pandemic has relentlessly exposed the weaknesses of globalized supply chains. Whether for vaccines, protective equipment or generics: The fragility of supply chains and Europe's dependence on other parts of the world have become clear - the effects on security of supply are massive.

As part of the German EU Council Presidency, the Federal Government initiated the discussion on strengthening European active ingredient and drug production - and raised the issue to the European stage. Shortly thereafter, the EU Commission started a pharmaceutical dialogue aimed at identifying predetermined breaking points and finding solutions to the problem of permanently stressed supply chains.

What exactly are the weaknesses of globalized drug production? How do supply chains become more resilient again? And what can the individual players (manufacturers, health insurers, politicians, etc.) do now to improve security of supply?

Representatives of the industry discussed this with politicians and experts at the digital pro-generics spring talk on April 22, 2021. The event was broadcast live from the Baden-Württemberg state representative and from Monika Jones (Deutsche Welle) moderated.

Why we need to rethink

Bork Bretthauer

Managing Director Pro Generics

We need more stable supply chains, and security of supply must be worth more to us. That means: away from the main thing cheap principle for generics. "

Pro Generics Managing Director Bork Bretthauer opened the event with an appeal: “When the drugs in the intensive care units became scarce in the first wave of the pandemic, many only realized how quickly our supply can falter. We need more stable supply chains, and security of supply must be worth more to us. That means: away from the main thing cheap principle for generics. "

This is what the typical supply chain looks like

Dr. Martin Black

There are many measures that can make the supply more stable. But with the current reimbursement system, they make little economic sense.

Supply chain expert Dr. Martin Schwarz (Sarticon) outlined the typical supply chain of a generic drug whose raw materials are manufactured in China and whose active ingredients are manufactured in India - and which then comes to Europe as a finished drug via sea freight. He also pointed out weak points and made it clear how easily a shock (e.g. in pandemic times) can interrupt a supply chain and tear off supplies. Schwarz: “We depend on a few suppliers who are located in a single region of the world. We have to resolve this dependency. And that only works if we change the tendering system. "

Schwarz also explained the dilemma that generics manufacturers are faced with in view of the health insurance tenders: “A second source of active ingredients as a supplier, different countries of origin of the raw and auxiliary materials, another production facility - all of these are measures that make the supply more stable, but economically make little sense in the current reimbursement system for generics. "

No chance in tenders

Christoph Stoller

President Medicines for Europe / Teva ratiopharm

If I invest in more security of supply and have to increase prices, I have no chance in tenders.

Christoph Stoller, General Manager Teva Germany and President Medicines for Europe, pointed out that generics companies in the pandemic secured basic supplies at their own risk and expense: “We have increased production, changed freight routes, and even brought drivers out of retirement. The supply bottleneck did not materialize, but that could also have gone wrong and should not be a blueprint for the post-crisis period. The situation is like this: If I invest in more delivery security and have to increase prices, I have no chance in tenders. ”His summary:“ Delivery bottlenecks were an issue even before the pandemic. Corona has increased awareness. We have to act accordingly now, then this crisis will also have something positive. "

Sustainability must become a competitive factor

Dr. André Breddemann

In the future, resilience must be placed more in the focus of our procurement processes, sustainability must become a competitive advantage.

Dr. André Breddemann (Head of Pharmaceuticals Department, BARMER) made it clear that his health insurance company has recognized the problem: “Supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link. In the future, resilience must be placed more in the focus of our procurement processes, sustainability must become a competitive advantage. ”Breddemann referred to his supplier code, which has laid down basic ethical, ecological and economic principles.

Why politics can solve the problem

Michael Hennrich

Again and again the impression is given that politics cannot solve the problem of delivery security. But that's not true. She can solve it - and she will solve it. "

Michael Hennrich, Member of the Bundestag, (CDU / CSU) made it clear that more security of supply is also a task for politics. “Something will change. Politicians will not be able to afford to get into a crisis situation again. It would be inconceivable for me that we would not react to it. ”As a result of the pandemic, the issues of delivery security and European drug production have come more into focus - across all parties. “There is a high level of awareness and broad consensus to get this under control. We will have to work on strengthening European autonomy and creating manufacturing capacities in Europe. "

It must be clarified, said Hennrich, what the legislature can do and what the market itself regulates. Hennrich: “Criteria for more security of delivery must be in the contracts. The legislature provides the framework. Again and again the impression is given that politics cannot solve the problem of delivery security. But that's not true. She can solve it - and she will solve it. "

More “Made in Europe” means higher prices

Kordula Schulz ash

We need to make drug supplies more resilient. With strategies that bundle forces across Europe. And solidarity for the global south. This also requires prices that enable European production.

For Kordula Schulz-Asche, Member of the Bundestag (Alliance 90 / GREEN) a pan-European solution is needed. "Corona shows it like under the microscope: We have to make the drug supply more resilient. With strategies that pool forces across Europe. And solidarity for the global south. This also requires prices that enable European production. "

You can watch the event here.

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