The competitiveness of Europe's biopharmaceutical sector is under threat: Luxembourg is no exception.

The competitiveness of Europe's biopharmaceutical sector is under threat: Luxembourg is no exception.

Press release 


IML, the voice of the pharmaceutical industry in Luxembourg, warns of the dangers of the reform of European pharmaceutical legislation. Harmful effects on the competitiveness of the European zone, and by ricochet in Luxembourg, are to be expected on the import, distribution and availability of medicines.

The latest study by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), in association with consulting firm Dolon and published on November 6, 2023, now shows that several European countries will be affected by the reform, including Germany, France and Belgium. These three countries border Luxembourg, and have close import links with it.

Reduced investment

In 2010, Europe accounted for 37% of global R&D investment; by 2020, this figure has fallen to 32%. According to a new study, and with this reform, this figure is set to fall further by 2030, to 25%, and by 2040, to just 21% of R&D activities compared to other regions of the world. At the same time, China's contribution is set to rise from 2% in 2010 to 17% in 2040.

Why does Europe's competitiveness concern Luxembourg?

Luxembourg has little or no in-house production facilities for innovative medicines. Its cooperation with border production markets is necessary, historic and functional, since Luxembourg imports 70 to 85% of Belgium's drugs worth around $467 million, and around 9.5% of Germany's drugs ($55.4 million). In Europe, the negative impact of the reform will be widespread. Germany is likely to be hardest hit, with a loss of R&D investment of around 626 million euros a year. For Belgium, where the pharmaceutical industry has a strong presence, this would mean, according to the study, a potential loss of 381 million euros in R&D investment? The figure for France?

We're talking about a reduction in the economic activity associated with these R&D investments, not only for biopharmaceutical companies, but also for the entire healthcare ecosystem, and even beyond.

The reform will lead to a reduction in the number of clinical trials, which will have an impact on both hospitals and patients, who will therefore have less access to innovative medicines in the research phase. As EFPIA says: "It matters where innovation happens."

Sonia Franck, Secretary General of IML (Innovative Medicines for Luxembourg), said, "research and development will continue, but the question is where."

If the reform of European pharmaceutical legislation has a negative impact on the competitiveness of the biopharmaceutical industry in Europe, the three countries most affected are, it should be remembered, three border countries that are major exporters of medicines to Luxembourg.

IML calls on the future Luxembourg government, whose parties are committed to rapid access to medicines for all citizens, to pay close attention to the impact of the reform's changes on Europe's competitiveness and, subsequently, on its repercussions for Luxembourg.


The full study is available here :



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