The Health Industries Strategic Advisory Board (CSIS) – which made the recommendation at its meeting on Monday – flagged up France’s ‘complex’ taxation structure as a significant hurdle for drugmakers that is discouraging investment in manufacturing.
At present, pharmaceutical manufacturers operating in France are subject to 13 specific levies – aside from national and local taxes – which have been introduced gradually to finance the country’s various health agencies and to control health insurance expenditure.
The means that pharmaceutical manufacturers face a very complex set of tax rules which – according to the CSIS – “can lack coherence with regulatory tools” in place in the country.
To address this the group calls for an audit of the tax environment for healthcare product firms.
“Whilst preserving the level of expected resources and in order to ensure that the right incentives are put in place, it would seem appropriate to perform an overall audit of this structure factoring in the specific features of the three main segments of the industry: drugs; medical devices and in vitro diagnostics.”
The CSIS will ask the General Inspectorate of France (GIF) and the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS) to compare how drugmakers are taxed in France with elsewhere in Europe and, based on the findings, to recommend changes that would simplify the system and provide investment incentives.
The CSIS makes 14 other recommendations covering a range of Pharma relevant topics – from the need to encourage public-private R&D partnerships and clinical research to the opportunity provided by the “Epidemiology France” portal that was established in 2011.
The group also suggests that asking drugmakers to detail where a pharmaceutical is made on its product labelling would help preserve the manufacturing sector.
The CSIS says while France has historically been a major industrial player, “changes sweeping through the sector are weakening its pharmaceutical industry” and advocates a voluntary scheme where manufacturers say where a particular drug is made would help address this.
“Encouraging, for reasons of clarity for the consumer, the provision of simple clear information about where the key stages of health product manufacturing take place…[would] preserve the manufacturing base and maintain production volumes in France and Europe.”
The organisation argues that detailing product origin – and the environmental monitoring and medical waste management measures in place at the manufacturing site – would help maintain industrial production in France, but did not respond to a request for further clarification.
The implication seems to be that French patients and physicians – or ‘consumers’ – are more likely to opt for drugs if they know where they come from and the conditions under which they are produced. In-Pharmatechnologist.com will update if and when more information is available.