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Biotechnology is the use of living systems or organisms in the creation of industrial products. In Europe, it created 10,000 new jobs and 93 medicines recommended for market authorisation by the European Medicines Agency in 2015.
Experts claim that biotechnology could help Europe adjust to the new world challenges related to health and climate change.
On a health level, patients across Europe could gain access to innovative therapies, for example, against rare diseases. Proponents of bio-medicines also claim that precision therapy, because it is more efficient, will ease the burden on member states’ ailing healthcare systems.
Biotechnology can also significantly contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change by lowering its health risks.
Despite consistent growth in the biotech sector, the European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) association says the industry is not receiving enough support from investors, universities and research institutions, thus limiting Europe’s ability to compete with the US.
Controls on EU immigration played a key role in the Brexit vote. However, the UK government now says that it wants to protect the free movement of researchers and talent, which are crucial for the life sciences sector. EURACTIV.com reports from Lyon.
Ethicists, humanists, lawyers and patients should come together to understand the risk of data in healthcare and whether patients are willing to take that risk, Pierre Meulien told EURACTIV.com.
In terms of pure biotechnology, Europe has embraced innovation. However, it cannot compete with the US yet because it cannot drive private investment in the field, as well as open up the market to new products, a pharmaceutical executive told EURACTIV.com in Lyon.
Governments are “trapped” by lobbyists, and it’s hard to fight climate change. But if young people are mobilised and turn to healthy lifestyles, there is hope, according to scientists. EURACTIV.com reports from Lyon.
Biotechnology-derived medicinal products are fully part of EU healthcare but there are still many unknowns which call for adequate controls, the European Commission told EURACTIV.