Do we complain that there is no transfer of knowledge to the economy? We do not fund applied science

  • Małgorzata Sznitowska: the pharmaceutical industry in the world is at least ninety percent if not more generic
  • According to her, Poland lacks funds to support applied sciences
  • If we don’t fund applied research, let’s not complain that there is no transfer of knowledge to the economy – he stresses

Virtually all generic drugs have the characteristics of innovation

Later this year competitions under the Funds for the Modern Economy (FENG) program will be announced. Out of 8 billion euros, more than half, ie 4.3 billion euros, must be allocated to support entrepreneurs who want to implement research and development projects and innovative projects.

During the “Pharmaceutical Industry” session within the framework of the European Economic Congress, the participants discussed what innovation in pharmacy is.

– We have a certain problem with innovation in medicines. It is commonly accepted that an innovative drug is a completely new molecule that has never been used in medicine until now – the professor estimated. Małgorzata Sznitowska, National Industrial Pharmacy Consultant, Head of Chair and Department of Applied Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Gdańsk Medical University.

As a national consultant, he created a group that created an official position that virtually every generic drug has the characteristics of an innovation, according to the Oslo Manual. Firstly, because it addresses the implementation element, and secondly, it has a social effect – it reduces the price and increases the availability for patients.

The professor added that the pharmaceutical industry worldwide is at least ninety percent if not more generic.

– What we commonly mean by innovative medicine is an original product created for more than 20 years and the cost of creation of which is several billion zlotys. While the original drug is still market-exclusive, work on successive genetic drugs begins. It is important that our strong Polish pharmaceutical industry participates in such activities, and it happens, she said.

She pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry is very innovative, as almost all companies have research and development departments.

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Support for applied sciences is lacking

– The fact is that there should be more public money for projects that are riskier and more difficult. In addition, there is the biotechnology industry, and therefore also biosimilars, the development of which is extremely expensive. I am convinced that the projects that will be co-financed with public funds will bring a much wider field of cooperation between universities and industry, because unfortunately this cooperation has not been satisfactory so far and we are losing more and more of scientific skills that could also serve the economy – underlined Professor Sznitowska.

– First of all, I would like to draw your attention to the huge discrepancy that has arisen when looking at the funds of the National Science Center. They focus on basic research, but projects intended to show the practical translation of a given research are not desirable. And we have the National Center for Research and Development, where you must already have an industrial partner for your research – she added.

What about applied science projects? There are practically no such projects – said Professor Sznitowska, referring to an example from his own university. – Recently, I asked to be presented in competitions in which I can participate as an applied pharmacy manager to show the development of applied sciences. There are no such projects.

In the meantime – according to her – it is necessary for scientists to be able to bring their idea closer and interest a commercial partner. A business partner must have certain results, and these results do not depend on the results of the publication. You also need funds for this because it really allows you to develop your science skills.

– At one time I was in one of the committees in Stockholm, where the Swedes decided to award bridge scholarships, for which scientists worked on the project for two years in order to present the company with a prototype incentive to invest. We miss it. If we don’t fund applied research, let’s not complain that there is no transfer of knowledge to the economy – she stressed.

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