‘We need to innovate, then regulate, to close gap on our competitors’ - Cowen

Fianna Fáil candidate in the European Elections for the Midlands-North-West constituency, Deputy Barry Cowen, insists excessive regulation is stifling innovation in Ireland and in Europe.

Deputy Cowen wants to see Ireland realise its potential to become a world leader on medical device trials, but says action needs to be taken to speed up the process for new products to be brought to market.

“Europe needs a renewed commitment to deliver policy that champions innovation. We need to put more emphasis on innovating then regulating - this change is essential before Europe and Ireland fall too far behind other global competitors.

“We’ve been losing pace for far too long. For example, in 2002 the US spent $2 billion more than Europe on pharmaceuticals R&D, today that has rocketed to $20 billion. That gap has to be closed.

“Such complacency on the part of Europe has to be addressed. Companies like Medtronic in Galway are in a situation that the clinical trials to bring drugs to market - to get through the regulatory approval - are taking too long.

“Ireland is Europe’s second largest medical equipment exporter and has the potential and opportunity to be the leader on medical device trials, but we need to press for faster medical trials, less red tape and more action.

“We need to ensure that new patents, products and medicines can be brought to market in a timely manner. By addressing these issues, we can put Ireland in the heart of Pharma innovation. At stake are healthcare outcomes, competitiveness, job and investments.

“I will be the strong voice Ireland needs on innovation if elected to European Parliament on June 7th, and I will be arguing to lead the charge on Medtech trials,” Deputy Cowen stated.


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