Wear a scarf in the winter: how to lower health care costs? Leaders from the medical industry met on 29 november to participate in the “noble health” debate organised by executive club in the regent hotel in warsaw. Representatives of the sector gathered to talk about the future of the pharmaceutical and medical industry, prophylaxis, innovations, and dialogue with the government.
The meeting was opened by Jan Staniłko, Deputy Director of the Department of Innovation at the Ministry of Development, who talked about the Ministry’s priorities in the context of health care in Poland and the development of the pharmaceutical branch. He referred to the cooperation between the Polish pharmaceutical industry and global innovative companies on projects at their early stage.
Professor Henryk Skarżyński, National Consultant in otorhinolaryngology, delivered a presentation on latest technologies in telemedicine. He argued that telemedicine gives rise to a new quality of medical care, as it offers the possibility for constant monitoring of various groups and early treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and provide population-based screening programs as the country’s tool in healthcare policy, which in turn can result in a decrease in healthcare costs. The expert also talked about the telerehabilitation system implemented in the Hearing Physiology and Pathology Institute in 2004. Professor Skarżyński predicts that telerehabilitation might become Polish contribution to European medical standards. The presentation was accompanied by a song about telemedicine composed by Krzesimir Dębski.
In the discussion on health care in Poland and innovations in the pharmaceutical industry, Mariusz Ignatowicz (PwC Polska) emphasized the issue of the ageing society. What should we expect in the upcoming years?
Bogna Cichowska – Duma (INFARMA) said that the pharmaceutical sector is unlikely to run out of innovative ideas and emphasized that they have 7 thousand new drugs the world over and new molecules are still being registered. General Director of INFARMA emphasized that the pharmaceutical sector is where most revenues are spent on development and innovation. Grzegorz Rychwalski from the Polish Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Employers was equally optimistic. “This is just the beginning,” he said. Mr. Rychwalski predicts expansion to external markets through innovative activities and increasing the volume of drugs. He also pointed to the possibility to produce generic drugs for third markets which are not regulated. Irena Rej (“Farmacja Polska” Chamber of Commerce) referred to the specificity of operating pharmacies and she pointed out that pharmacies are unable to buy more drugs because of financial problems and the deficit of some drugs in pharmacies is the result of “reverse export”. When asked whether it is difficult to convince the Ministry to projects, Dorota Hryniewiecka-Firlej (Pfizer Polska, INFARMA) replied that the topic of health care is approached systemically and encouraged everyone to start perceiving health in a broader perspective. Prophylaxis should constitute the basis and systemic solutions should be introduced so as to increase budget savings, she said. Jan Staniłko (Ministry of Development) approached the debate in the context of industry and compared patients with cars. Discussion about priorities in health care, which is ruled by “car mechanics” is imminent. It is better to focus on prophylaxis and healthy lifestyle than to resort to “scrapping” because the costs are high. He also pointed to the problem of the ageing population of doctors. Małgorzata Gałązka-Sobotka – (Postgraduate Education Center, Department of Management in Health Care, Lazarski University) said she was happy that the debate on the health care sector as a branch of the economy was opened. We need more money for treatment and guaranteed rehabilitation on time and investments in innovations will make us a richer country. Andrzej Sokołowski (Association of Private Hospitals) was less positive about changes and new regulations and complained about the Ministry’s approach to private hospitals, saying that new regulations make it virtually impossible for private hospitals to operate. Henryk Skarżyński talked about activities of the Hearing Physiology and Pathology Institute, which provides patients with a better education. Once again, he emphasized the need for early treatment as a cheaper option. He pointed out that the existence of the private market stimulates the development of the public market. A team created from scratch is of utmost importance.
At the end, the moderator asked the speakers to present a short summary and express their concerns or hopes for the future. The participants of the debate were almost unanimous in saying that dialogue with the government and ministries and increasing the stability and predictability which should be guaranteed by the state.
Organizer: Executive Club
Co-organizers: Employers’ Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Companies INFARMA, “Farmacja Polska” Chamber of Commerce, Polish Association of Private Hospitals, Polish Association of Pharmaceutical Industry Employers
Strategic partner: Pfizer Polska
Partners: Law firm CMS, Coloplast, PwC Polska
Partner of the evening: Lease Plan
Media Patronage: Manager, Polish Market, kierunekfarmacja.pl, przemysł farmaceutyczny, biotechnologia.pl, Borgis Medical Publisher, Newseria, “Służba Zdrowia” Medical Journal
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About Executive Club:
Executive Club is an organization bringing together the members of top management representing the most important Polish and international companies. Since 2005, the Club has assembled well-established business leaders, whose actions set standards in the development of the Polish economy. The Club organizes regular meetings for its members to provide them with opportunities for business networking and sharing ideas. For more information, please visit our website: www.executive-club.com.pl