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Big Changes Coming in German Health, Pharma

Germany is undertaking a “digital revolution” in healthcare and now has a strategy to make life easier for pharmaceutical companies.

Germany is remaking its health and pharma sectors. The country’s parliament, the Bundestag, has approved a series of reforms. Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach called them a “digital revolution,” adding, “We are now getting a modern infrastructure.”

The new rules allow for electronic prescriptions and electronic patient files insofar as patients don’t opt out. The aim is to cut paperwork and make the entire health system more efficient. Proponents hope that 80 percent of people in Germany will have electronic patent files by 2025.

The reforms will also aid medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies.

Underscoring the importance of the latter for Germany’s economic future, the governing cabinet has also agreed on a new “pharma strategy.” It includes:

  • cutting the time for approving requests for clinical studies by roughly 75 percent
  • bolstering the structures for approving medications
  • accelerating the digitalization of German health care
  • incentives for pharmaceutical production
  • improving the European environment for research and development
  • support for innovation and research projects
  • a reliable legal framework for pharma companies.

“Our aim is to make our country an attractive location once again for researching, developing and producing medications,” said Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, calling the new strategy “a decisive lever for a vigorous pharma location, new investments and jobs for the future.”

“Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are key industries of the twenty-first century,” says Marcus Schmidt, Germany Trade & Invest Director of Chemicals and Health. “The pharmaceutical strategy underlines the great importance of this sector for the federal government. Together with the laws that have already been introduced, Germany will expand its leading role in Europe in the areas of research and development as well as production.”

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