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Cablegate: Portugal Pharmaceutical Companies Plan Roundtable

VZCZCXRO4425
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHLI #0588/01 3241600
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201600Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7978
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHPD/AMCONSUL PONTA DELGADA 0640
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 000588

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

COMMERCE DEPT FOR ITA/MAC:DCALVERT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KIPR PGOV PO SZ EU UK FR GM
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES PLAN ROUNDTABLE
MEETING

REF: LISBON 552

LISBON 00000588 001.3 OF 002


SUMMARY
-------
1. (SBU) The Local American Working Group (LAWG) of the
Pharmaceutical Association in Portugal hosted a November 10
meeting with diplomatic and company representatives to
present the results of a recent market survey of
pharmaceutical companies and to recount a recent LAWG meeting
with Basilio Horta of the Portuguese Agency for Investment
(AICEP). The survey results reveal modest industry growth
and investment in Portugal, and Horta is reportedly
interested in industry suggestions for increased investment
and offered to arrange an industry roundtable meeting with
the Ministries of Economy and Health and AICEP in December or
January. End summary.

2. (SBU) On November 10 the Charge d'Affaires, Senior
Commercial Officer, and Poleconoff attended a meeting
organized by the Local American Working Group (LAWG) of the
Pharmaceutical Association in Portugal. Also in attendance
were: UK Ambassador Ellis, Swiss Ambassador Shaller, and
German Econ Counselor Deichmann. There were also company
representatives from Abbott Labs (U.S.), Amgen (U.S.),
Janssen-Cilag (U.S.), Merck Sharp & Dohme (U.S.), Eli Lilly
(U.S.), AstraZeneca (U.K.), GlaxoSmithKline (U.K.), Novartis
(Switzerland), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), and Aventis
(France). This meeting followed up on issues discussed in
the September 24 meeting (reftel).

SURVEY SHOWS SOME INVESTMENT AND GROWTH BUT ROOM FOR MORE
--------------------------------------------- ------------
3. (SBU) Since the September 24 meeting, LAWG surveyed
pharmaceutical companies about their investments in Portugal,
which total approximately 34 million euros. Licenses,
research and development partnerships, and grants all showed
flat to slightly increasing activity over the last 3 years,
and industry exports grew about 20 percent over the period.
Clinical trials have declined -- respondents said Portugal
produces very good data, but the slow GOP bureaucracy
discourages additional activity.

4. (SBU) The survey revealed that seven pharmaceutical
companies have shuttered manufacturing operations in Portugal
since 1995, but the reasons for the closures were not given.
The LAWG survey also highlighted movement of "shared
services" (e.g., information technology, support services) to
other countries. (Note: Diplomatic attendees commented that
these globalization issues are the same in other countries,
where manufacturing and backoffice services are moving to
regions with lower wages.)

5. (SBU) Respondents suggested several opportunities for
additional investment in Portugal if market conditions
improved, including formation of a national epidemiology
center, research and development seminars and funds,
increased university linkages, and more clinical trials.

INVESTMENT HEAD TO ASSIST WITH GOVERNMENT ROUNDTABLE
--------------------------------------------- -------
6. (SBU) Julie Brown of AstraZeneca said the survey results
were recently shared with Basilio Horta of AICEP. Horta was
very interested in the results, particularly the benefits of
increased pharmaceutical investment in the Portuguese
economy, and offered to help schedule a joint meeting for the
pharmaceutical companies with the Ministries of Economy and
Health and AICEP, preferably in December or January. Brown
said Horta believes it is critical that the industry state
their case to these ministries soon while new post-election
policies are still being formed.

7. (SBU) Diplomatic attendees noted that Horta did not
include the Ministry of Justice in his roundtable offer.
Ambassador Ellis opined that Horta recognizes that judicial
reforms required to improve intellectual property rights
enforcement in Portugal are too large to be addressed in a
GOP/pharmaceutical industry roundtable. All attendees agreed
that movement on GOP pricing policies, pharmaceutical
reimbursement delays, and opaque revenue caps were more
attainable near-term targets.

8. (SBU) The diplomatic attendees urged the companies to
take Horta up on his offer and schedule the meeting. There
was considerable debate about diplomatic participation at the
meeting, with a final consensus that diplomatic
representatives could attend if invited and participate as
appropriate.

LISBON 00000588 002.3 OF 002

COMMENT
-------
9. (SBU) LAWG is slowly moving toward the direct engagement
with the GOP that post has long advocated. The group's
hesitancy and constant need for reassurance and input from
the diplomatic community is baffling, but the increased pace
of activity toward a meeting with the GOP is a positive sign.
Post will continue to support the LAWG's efforts and report
future progress.


For more reporting from Embassy Lisbon and information about Portugal,
please see our Intelink site:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/portal:port ugal
BALLARD

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