Roche CEO: US, China Dominate Healthcare Innovation, EU Lags ‘Far Behind’

by eggplant in Engineering / Manufacturing

Speaking at the “Entrepreneurship in Healthcare: Powering Innovation” event organised by the European Healthcare Distribution Association (GIRP) in Dublin, the CEO of the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company criticised Europe for lagging “far behind” compared to the US and China in healthcare innovation. “The US leads, China is catching up and Europe is watching. People have not realised yet what is going on here and I am afraid of that,” he warned. Schwan explained that the US was without a doubt ahead of others in healthcare innovation as it has provided a clear regulatory framework which has allowed for an ecosystem of new start-up companies in the field. “Europe is far away from what is happening in the US, not even close. In addition, China has already overtaken Europe and I am concerned that it will be very difficult for Europe, also for inherent reasons as data is so fragmented within Europe and within countries, to catch up.” Roche CEO said that the company was investing a lot in the US not because it does not want to invest in Europe but because it’s just much simpler: there is a regulatory framework that allows investment in these new digital opportunities. “China is also catching up. Chinese are totally committed to innovation. If you are talking to European politicians about innovation […] you don’t know who you will meet next time, if they are still in the government.” On the other hand, he said, in China, they have a long-term strategy to grow and get from low-value industries to high-value industries, with life science and IT some of the key industries they want to develop.

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