On June 26th, Salud por Derecho carried out the second expert’s session of the Catalytic Project in the Ateneo in Barcelona. The goal of the conversation was to gather researchers from various backgrounds to discuss the principal limitations of the current health innovation system and propose new ideas and solutions on how to ensure that public investment in R&D results in accessible and affordable biomedical products.
Participants in the conversation included representatives from Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) as well as the University Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.
The conversation centered on topics such as the way in which scientific policy priorities are set, whether models such as “spin offs” help to cover the translational gap to ensure needed products reach the market, and the use of the “de-linkage principle”, which consists of separating research and development (R&D) costs from medical product prices. Participants also discussed the need for investment in R&D to be well-applied and noted that political will is needed to ensure that changes in government do not result in abrupt changes in scientific policy priorities. They highlighted the fact that scientific timelines are much longer than political timelines and therefore a long term vision is needed on the part of policymakers and research managers in order to ensure that scientific development can take place without being subject to the “political whims” of those in power.
These and other reflections offered by researchers through the Catalytic breakfast sessions will be gathered in a report at the end of the year and used when engaging in policy dialogue with Spanish and European policymakers.