Investing in health and innovation, keys to increasing economic efficiency and improving equity

Hiris and Farmaindustria have presented the book ‘Healthcare innovation to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis’.

Test tubes for biomedical research.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the weaknesses of our health system and also that we had wrong priorities. The example is that during the previous years, Western countries (including Spain), have not invested in the health industry in the same way that Asian countries have, “thanks to what they have had a better response to the pandemic”.

In this sense, “investing in public health and health innovation improves, on the one hand, the equity of one country and, on the other, increases the efficiencyeconomical of that country ”. This was explained by Antón Costas, Professor of Economics at the University of Barcelona, ​​during the presentation of the book ‘Health innovation to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis’, edited by the strategic consultancy Hiris with the support of Farmaindustria.

Among the lessons left by the pandemic is that “the economic cost of non-public health is unaffordable for a modern economy. Covid has made us more aware of the strong links between public health, society and the economy ”, added Costas.

Along these lines, Jesús María Fernández, founder and CEO of Hiris, pointed out that “the numbers tell us that it is feasible to invest in health, because it generates an economy and, most importantly, there is greater human development “.

For this reason, he insisted that “we have to increase investment in innovation and health. In both cases we are, Spain is below the average of the European Union and very far from the countries that invest the most ”.

The healthcare industry

Another of the lessons learned from the health crisis, in the opinion of Costas, is that “it has made us see that the health industry is already a tractorof economic growth, of the modernization of the economy and of resilience, of the resilience of an economy to new pandemics ”.

In this sense, the CEO of Farmaindustria, Humberto Arnés, has pointed out that “having a solid pharmaceutical industry is of vital importance for a modern country. It is because of its leadership in drug research. As we are verifying, it is the pharmaceutical industry that leads the R&D of medicines in the world, in a framework of close cooperation with governments and public research institutions ”.