Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Competitiveness in the Healthcare Industries

Competitiveness in the Healthcare Industries

The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs aims to guarantee a high level of protection of public health, contribute to the completion of the Single Market for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, and foster a stable and predictable environment for innovation and competitiveness. It does this by identifying key issues that affect the competitiveness of the European healthcare industries and by proposing solutions in cooperation with stakeholders.

The Pharmaceutical Industry: A Strategic Sector

This Staff Working Document (204 KB) forms part of the European Commission’s efforts to contribute to growth and to foster the EU’s competitive role globally. It identifies policy areas where actions have already been undertaken and which could be explored further in the future. Specifically:

  • contributing to priority setting in a public health-based development agenda for medicines;
  • ensuring long-term sustainability of the pharmaceutical sector, notably fostering public-private co-operation, for example through innovative mechanisms such as the Managed Entry Agreements;
  • facilitating the availability of specific medicines like orphan drugs or biosimilars;
  • fostering transparency and ethical behaviour in the sector on the basis of the “list of guiding principles (33 KB)”;
  • improving access to medicines worldwide;
  • reinforcing the presence of the European pharmaceutical industry in the global market.

Commission Staff Working Document: “Pharmaceutical Industry: A Strategic Sector for the European Economy” (204 KB)


Monitoring and Analysis

The European Commission monitors and analyses the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry through specialised studies carried out by external experts, informal or institutionalised contacts, and dialogue with public authorities and other stakeholders.

In early 2008, the Commission also launched an inquiry into competition in the pharmaceutical sector. Please visit the pharmaceuticals sector enquiry and follow-up webpage of the Directorate-General for Competition for more information.

Study on the competitiveness of the EU market and industry for pharmaceuticals

Studies which examine developments in the biosimilar and generic markets