Quarterly newsletter scienceindustries 2/2019



The quarterly newsletter of scienceindustries, the Swiss Business Association Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences, keeps you abreast of current business and social issues.


Referendums of 19 May 2019: voters support Switzerland as a business location


The chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries are delighted about the adoption of the AHV tax proposal and the approval of the revised firearm legislation given by the voters on 19 May 2019. This means that Switzerland remains one of the top tax locations in the world. By saying yes to the revised firearm legislation, Swiss voters have confirmed their support of the important bilateral relationship.
More information about the most recent referendums can be found in the press release (only available in German).


Drinking water and pesticide ban initiatives: no need for counterproposals


scienceindustries decisively rejects both initiatives because they are extreme and threaten progress and innovation. A counterproposal is not necessary as the state with the agricultural policy and various strategies and action plans drawn up by the Federal government (sustainability strategy, action plan for plant protection products, antibiotics strategy, biodiversity strategy, plant and animal breeding strategy) already has sufficient options and tools to ensure even better environmental protection - and in particular effective water protection - in Switzerland. Instead of counterproposals at the legislative or constitutional levels, the action plan for plant protection products must be consistently pursued and the public be regularly informed about the successes achieved by the risk minimisation measures.
Read this press release (only available in German) for more information.


Responsible Business Initiative RBI and its counterproposal are toxic for Switzerland as a business location


The demands of the RBI with its almost unlimited possibilities of filing suit in Switzerland are excessive and should be rejected. Its acceptance will lead to increased red tape in Switzerland and expose companies to the additional risk of legal action from all corners of the world. The RBI demands the unlimited liability in Switzerland of Swiss parent companies for all “internationally recognised human rights and international environmental standards” for the entire supply chain of foreign third-party companies as well as the reversal of the burden of proof. Switzerland will also be the legal venue for all disputes, regardless of existing options for filing suit abroad. As this liability concept would be without international parallel, Switzerland is in danger of going this route on its own, which would have a serious negative impact on Switzerland's attractiveness as a business location. 
The National Council's counterproposal does not definitively correct the faulty concepts of the initiative and the basis of liability is still much too open. Any counterproposal must take sufficient account of these concerns and lead to a withdrawal of the initiative. This could not be achieved up till now.


Business sector wants to quickly clear up the open issues concerning the institutional framework agreement


Together with the business associations economiesuisse, Swissmem and the Swiss Bankers Association, scienceindustries is demanding fast action which is independent of the termination initiative. According to the reply sent to Federal President Ueli Maurer by Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, the  ongoing discussions will end on 18 June. The Federal Council now has to clear up the open issues with the EU Commission without delay. The EU for its part should refrain from taking any discriminatory measures against Switzerland.
For more information, please read the joint press release by economiesuisse, Swissmem, Swiss Bankers Association and scienceindustries (only available in German).


Minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property are mandatory


Together with Interpharma and the Swiss Biotech Association, scienceindustries has requested the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO in a letter to clarify the situation with regard to the protection of intellectual property. Shortly after signing the free trade agreement with the EFTA states, Indonesia issued an implementing ordinance that will relax compulsory licence requirements for products that were not produced locally.  This clearly runs counter to the outcome of the negotiations, i.e. Indonesia’s agreement to align its patent legislation more strongly to the TRIPS agreement.
The expectations of scienceindustries of a free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries have been set out in a one-page document. This document was made available to SECO, the Brazilian ABIQUIM association and the Argentinian CIQyP association, together with the position paper "FTA – objectives of scienceindustries". scienceindustries is still keeping a very close eye on the negotiations.


SECO publishes Brexit FAQs


After the resignation of UK prime minister Theresa May it is still unclear how Brexit will proceed. scienceindustries strongly supported the Federal Council's “Mind the Gap” strategy. The consultation process has started for the proposed trade agreement. An agreement with the United Kingdom regarding the mutual recognition of certificates of conformity has been reached for 3 of the 20 chapters of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between Switzerland and the EU, i.e. Good Manufacturing Practice GMP, Good Laboratory Practice GLP and vehicles. The UK still unilaterally recognises the authorised representatives for the following product sectors in the MRA between Switzerland and the EU: 2, 4-9, 11, 16, 17, 19 and 20. SECO has now published the long awaited FAQs about the consequences for Switzerland of a no-deal Brexit scenario between the EU and the UK that were requested by the business sector.


Animal testing is essential for medicinal product research


The pharmaceutical industry welcomes the rejection by 17 to 8 votes by CSEC-N of Parliamentary Initiative 18.491 “Ban on severe-constraint testing of animals”. Animal testing is essential and in many cases prescribed by law for the development of new and innovative therapies and safe medicinal products against serious and at present incurable diseases.  The current legal framework as a whole guarantees ethically responsible research and defines sufficiently restrictive criteria for severity 3 experiments (severe constraint). Animal testing as well as clinical trials are essential for medical progress and innovative and effective medicinal products. The pharmaceutical industry is aware of its responsibility and complies with the Animal Welfare Act. Parliamentary Initiative 18.491 is expected to be debated by the National Council in autumn.


Swiss Biotech Report 2019: Swiss biotech industry remains successful


Compared to the previous year, the Swiss biotech industry once again increased its revenues, exports and research investments, with capital investments in listed biotech companies growing by leaps and bounds. This is confirmed by the Swiss Biotech Report 2019, which is published annually by scienceindustries and other important players and provides an overview of the dynamic development of the biotech sector. The scienceindustries contribution showcases CAR-T cell therapy to emphasize how important the willingness to go a new way is for bringing innovative products to market.


High school class of Solothurn Cantonal School wins SimplyScience Foundation's fifth national “Science on the Move” laboratory competition


550 learners from 28 high schools in all three language regions participated in this year's “Science on the Move” competition supported by Roche.  On the day of the final in Basel, a jury consisting of experts from the fields of science, education and industry announced Class B16a from the Solothurn Cantonal School to be the winner of the competition for high school classes.
The competition promotes scientific curiosity, enthusiasm and team work among the participants. High school classes joined forces to design and build models of a (bio-) chemical process selected by them. In addition to the model, classes taking part in the competition also had to prepare a scientific poster and a two-minute video. Based on these contributions, 10 school classes went through to the final and presented their ideas in the form of creative performances at Roche in Basel. The prize for the winners from Solothurn is a one-week research trip to London, while the other finalists won a scientific excursion in Switzerland.
More information can be found at SimplyScience.ch.


Benefits paid for cooperation between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers are disclosed for the fourth time


As in the three previous years, some 60 pharmaceutical companies active in Switzerland disclose the benefits paid for advisory and other services to healthcare providers on their websites by 30 June 2019.
The exchange between pharmaceutical companies and doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, research institutions and patient organisations is crucial in researching and developing new medicines and therapies. New therapies can only be developed and tested and existing therapies improved as part of an ongoing exchange of experiences. This leads to various cooperation partnerships between the industry and healthcare providers, such as joint research projects, speakers at conferences, collaboration on advisory boards, and many more. These diverse activities by healthcare providers deserve to be suitably compensated.
To make these relationships more transparent for the public, some 60 pharmaceutical companies disclose their cooperation payments on their websites. Measured against turnover, this is estimated to cover around 85% of the entire Swiss market for prescription drugs. This initiative aims to further strengthen the trust placed in the healthcare and research sectors.
You can find more information here.


Andreas Bohrer, Carlo Centonze, Valerie Diele-Braun, Markus Gautschi and Matthias Halusa have been elected as the new members of the Board of scienceindustries


The 137th Annual General Meeting of scienceindustries, the Business Association Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences, took place at Bachem AG in Bubendorf BL under the auspices of its Chairman, Matthias Leuenberger. The Annual General Meeting elected, Prof. Andreas Bohrer, Lonza Group AG, Carlo Centonze, Emanuele Centonze Holding AG, Valerie Diele-Braun, CABB AG, Markus Gautschi, Givaudan Schweiz AG and Matthias Halusa, BASF Schweiz AG as the new members of the Board of scienceindustries.
Read the press release for more information (available in German and French).


New: scienceindustries mobile app for members


The new scienceindustries app gives our members direct access at any time even while travelling to all information on its website and its Membernet. The app can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play and the App Store. After you have downloaded the app you only have to log on to Membernet once to select the areas of interest to you in order to receive daily push messages about the most important news affecting the chemistry, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. You can also manage the push service directly in Membernet at www.scienceindustries.ch.


scienceindustries is the Swiss business association for the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Its around 250 member companies generate more than 98% of their revenues abroad. As Switzerland's biggest export industry, this sector contributes 45% to total exports and almost 40% to private research expenses in Switzerland

Stephan Mumenthaler, Director
Marcel Sennhauser, Deputy Director - Head of Communication


update profile | unsubscribe | forward to a friend

©2019 scienceindustries | Imprint | Data protection