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  Business Association Chemistry Pharma Biotech
October 22th, 2014
    To whom it may concern

scienceindustries, the Swiss Business Association Chemistry Pharma Biotech, keeps you informed about our industry's standpoints on current politico-economic and social topics.
in this Issue
Say NO to the Ecopop initiative on 30th November 2014!  
Insecure economic climate calls for cautious political approach  
European policy - what next?  
Revised Pharma Code - prohibition on gifts  
Pharma Cooperation Code and revised Pharma Code now in effect  
New price fixing mechanism for drugs on the Pharmaceutical Specialities list  
"Green economy" - Revision of the Environmental Protection Act  
PG BFI session event on "Implementing the mass immigration initiative"  

      Say NO to the Ecopop initiative on 30th November 2014!

The extreme and absurd Ecopop Initiative promises more ecology and sustainability. In practice and in truth, however, it dictates that Switzerland should adopt a rigid immigration policy that would throttle the country's economic development. The Ecopop Initiative must be rejected clearly on 30th November 2014. Further information is available at: www.ecopopnein.ch. (Information available in German/French/Italian).
      Insecure economic climate calls for cautious political approach

The international economic situation has weakened over the past few months. Distortions in the financial markets are still possible at any stage due to the continuing problem of debt and worsening geopolitical tensions (in the Arab region and the Ukraine) and can change the fragile atmosphere very quickly. Another added problem is that monetary policy could no longer be used to provide support in any renewed crisis. Overall, the current economic position is characterised by great uncertainty. In view of this backdrop, Swiss economic policy must move cautiously: any additional economic stress due to new regulatory projects (e.g. the "Green economy" and "Energy strategy 2050") must be avoided at all costs.
      European policy - what next?

In its letter of reply to the Swiss appeal for renegotiation of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, the EU advised Switzerland that any renegotiation on the basis of quotas and priority for nationals would be fundamentally opposed to the free movement of persons and that the EU could therefore not consider the Swiss request. Furthermore, the EU mandate for the institutional negotiations was announced at the beginning of July 2014. According to this, Switzerland is required to adopt the relevant EU regulations for those areas in which it wishes to participate within the EU internal market dynamically, and submit to the legal interpretation of the European Court. According to the EU, this would affect all new and existing agreements concerning access to the market (including the free trade agreement of 1972). Both areas present difficult challenges for Switzerland, and these will have to be overcome if the bilateral agreements are to be retained.

In respect of the participation of researchers from Switzerland in the EU's "Horizon 2020" research programme, both Switzerland and the EU were fortunately able to agree in September 2014 upon a partial association to the end of 2016. The political settlement affects only the most important "Excellent Science" pillar of the programme.

Over the course of the past few months, scienceindustries has worked with business experts to carry out an economic evaluation of all the existing agreements with the EU. This indicated that the following agreements with the EU are of crucial significance to the member companies of scienceindustries:
- Apart from the bilateral packages, the free trade agreement of 1972 and the agreement regarding customs facilitation and security agreements are of major economic importance.
- From Bilateral Package I, the main significance apart from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons lies in the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. This secures mutual recognition of the GMP controls and batch releases and saves companies costs of between CHF 150 - 350 million/year.
- The Agreement on Research Collaboration, which also comes under Package I, is indirectly significant to industry because it contributes to ensuring the international excellence of Switzerland as a location of public research. In particular, participation in the "Excellent Science" pillar of the programme is important because this makes it possible for researchers from Switzerland to take part in the basic research being carried out by the European Research Council (ERC).

During the next few months, the most vital European policy goal as far as the economy is concerned is for the Ecopop Initiative to be massively rejected by the voters. In the long term, the securing of sufficient immigration of highly-qualified specialist staff from all around the world and the bilateral agreements with the EU will be at the forefront of activities. Extensive work is being undertaken at present on a suitable approach by the economy to the implementation of the mass immigration initiative (internal Swiss policy and in relation to the EU).
      Revised Pharma Code - prohibition on gifts

The revised Pharma Code now includes a ban on gifts, which came into effect on 1st July 2014. On this basis, signatory companies may no longer make gifts to specialist personnel or healthcare organisations. A period of transition applies to Switzerland until 30th June 2015, during which auxiliary products of modest value and writing pads and implements bearing company logos may be handed out at events. After this period, only writing pads and implements bearing no logos will still be permitted at events.
      The Pharma Cooperation Code is being implemented on the company level

The Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC) has been in effect since January 2014 and is being implemented by the companies. scienceindustries has kept in contact with the medical profession from the very beginning. Sensitisation of the profession is crucial to the implementation of the PCC, as individual disclosure can only take place with its consent. We therefore foresee the continuation of various activities involving medical umbrella organisations.
Further information on the Pharma Cooperations Code and the revised Pharma Code is available here..
      New price fixing mechanism for drugs on the Pharmaceutical Specialities list

The partial revision of the ordinance affecting health insurance and the ordinance affecting healthcare benefits announced by Federal Councillor Alain Berset on 20th June 2014 is directed purely at reducing costs and has been rejected by scienceindustries. It is criticised for the lack of account it takes of disparities in purchasing power and the unsatisfactory offsetting for price differences caused purely by the exchange rate compared with other countries in the 3-year check. Furthermore, the change from price checks based on recording year to group checks contravenes the principle of good faith. Any group formation involving price comparisons based on substance groups or other groups will be rejected as unacceptable. The expansion of the basket of countries to nine countries, some of which do not have "economic structures that are comparable with Switzerland in the pharmaceuticals sector" is also rejected, as is the reduction of the tolerance margin from 5% to 3% and the bringing forward of the price checks from 1st November to 1st September every year. A reform of the current price system is required, based on a fair and transparent benefit assessment that decreases the one-sided dependence on the prices in other countries and ensures sustainable legal and planning security. More consideration of the benefit assessment and a balanced weighting between foreign price comparison and therapeutic cross comparison should put the foreign price comparison into perspective. As a result, the pharmaceuticals industry calls for a departure from the ceiling on the resulting average ex-works selling price abroad. The consideration of the technical cross comparison and its weighting must allow the fact that the Swiss price for a drug can also lie above the average value for the basket of countries.
      "Green economy" - Revision of the Environmental Protection Act

At the hearing before the CESPE-S and various very well-attended parliamentary meetings, scienceindustries formulated its position clearly (Yes to the basic principle of sustainability but No to inefficient measures and to national solo efforts) and backed this position with examples. In turn, the CESPE-S voted decisively against the "Green economy" popular initiative on 1st September 2014, by 9 votes to 1 and spoke out by 8 votes to 5 in favour of a refusal to consider the indirect counter proposal. Even though the Commission believes that the use of resources must be reduced, it sees no need for new legislation. Nevertheless, the Council of States resolved by 24 votes to 20 to consider the submission. Fortunately, it wishes to limit the detailed consultation by the CESPE-S to the areas of recycling and waste disposal. scienceindustries will continue to campaign for strict adherence to this demarcation and to ensure that no further anti-commercial requirements shall be incorporated in the submission.
      PG BFI session event on "Implementing the mass immigration initiative"

On 25th September 2014, 35 national politicians from the National Council and the Council of States met at an event chaired by Gerhard Pfister of the Parliamentary Group on Education, Research and Innovation, initiated by scienceindustries. At this event, held in cooperation with FUTURE Network, Mario Gattiker, Director of the Swiss Federal Office for Migration FOM, clarified the Federal Council's concept for the "Implementation of the mass immigration initiative". In the subsequent discussion, under the leadership of State Councillor Felix Gutzwiller (Canton of Zurich), the topic was contentiously debated by Professor Lino Guzzella, President Designate of ETH Zurich, and Silvio Ponti, Deputy Group Director at SIKA AG, as well as Mario Gattiker. The specific requirements for an implementation system that would be friendly towards research and industry were pointed out specifically.
Would you like to know more about our perspectives, or would you like to ask us some questions? If so, please contact our specialist staff at scienceindustries.

sig. Dr. Beat Moser
sig. Marcel Sennhauser
Head of Communications
Business Association Chemistry Pharma Biotech
Nordstrasse 15 - P.O. Box
CH-8021 Zurich
Phone +41 44 368 17 11
Fax +41 44 368 17 70
E-Mail info@scienceindustries.ch
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