Audition de Bpifrance concernant la pénurie de médicaments

**Title: Insights from Nicolas Dufourcq – Director General of Bpifrance on the Medication Shortage Crisis**

In this video, the Commission of Inquiry on Medication Shortage interviews Nicolas Dufourcq, Director General of Bpifrance, discussing the challenges and solutions surrounding the shortage of medication. Join us as we delve into the work of the commission, examining the financing and development of pharmaceutical production in Europe, and assessing the role of private and public funding.

Keywords: Travaux de commission, PénurieMédicaments

[Commissioner]: Thank you for being here today, Mr. Dufourcq. We appreciate your insights on this pressing matter. Let us continue our hearings as scheduled, and apologize for the slight delay. As we proceed with today’s auditions, we welcome Mr. Nicolas Dufourcq, the Director General of Bpifrance, along with Ms. Sophie Raymond, the Director of Expertise, and Mr. Jean-Baptiste Marin Lamellée, the Director of Institutional Relations.

Bpifrance, a key player in financing and supporting innovation, holds equal shares with the French State and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. Its crucial role in funding and modernizing various industries, including the pharmaceutical sector, has gained significant attention in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reindustrialization and relocation of medication production have become pivotal issues in public policies.

During this hearing, we aim to gain insights into the availability of private funding for the development of European medication production capacities, as well as the necessity for public sector intervention. We also seek clarification on Bpifrance’s involvement in implementing relocation projects, in collaboration with the DGE, which we have previously audited. Additionally, we wish to understand your perspective on the viability of these industrial projects and their financing needs.

Furthermore, Bpifrance’s role in the implementation of the Health Innovation 2030 plan, as well as its analysis of the healthcare innovation ecosystem in France, will be explored. We acknowledge the significance of both mature and innovative medications in the pharmaceutical landscape. Through this hearing, we aim to gain a better understanding of Bpifrance’s policies and strategies in supporting investment, innovation, and industrialization in the medication sector.

Please note that this video is being livestreamed on the official website of the Senate and will be published as a summary. Before we proceed, I would like to remind everyone that providing false testimony before this inquiry commission is a punishable offense under the criminal code. We kindly request each witness to take an oath to tell the truth by raising their right hand and stating, “I swear to speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

[Mr. Dufourcq]: Thank you for the opportunity to address this important matter. I would like to highlight the significant impact of the widespread adoption of generic medication, which resulted in substantial production outsourcing to India and China, accounting for around 80% of active pharmaceutical ingredients. While this has led to a decrease in medication prices and potentially improved life expectancy, it has also significantly deindustrialized our country.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery plan highlighted the strategic, sovereign, and geopolitical ramifications that were not anticipated when favoring generics during the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. The European reliance on China and India for essential active pharmaceutical ingredients, which still persists, prompted a reevaluation of sovereignty and relocation efforts.

Amidst various projects managed by Bpifrance, one particular initiative focuses on building production capacity. Substantial subsidies have been allocated towards relocating primary production. Despite our efforts and approximately €900 million in relocation and capacity reconstruction aid, we have not resolved the fundamental issue of pricing. This issue revolves around the CEPS (Economic Committee for Healthcare Products) and Uni-achat (an interdepartmental association for public procurement), which are beyond our control.

As entrepreneurs, we recognize that CEPS pricing often falls below production costs, at times even below Chinese production prices. This, combined with the complex procedures, specifications, and legal frameworks of Uni-achat, poses significant challenges compared to other European countries. Therefore, we must acknowledge the medication shortage experienced by pharmacies in France, while simultaneously questioning whether these medications are being sold in other European countries with higher prices.

In addition to our support for medical research, Bpifrance heavily finances biotechnology, collaborating with biotech funds, such as Ino-Bio and various private French funds. These investments have resulted in the development of innovative molecules. It is crucial to emphasize that innovation in the medication sector encompasses not only new molecules but also innovative manufacturing processes.

[Commissioner]: Thank you for sharing your valuable insights, Mr. Dufourcq. The commission looks forward to further exploring the issues surrounding medication shortages and innovative solutions to address this crisis.

– [Senate Website: Livestream of the Commission of Inquiry on Medication Shortage](

Mardi 16 mai 2023, la commission d’enquête sur la pénurie de médicaments a auditionné Nicolas Dufourcq, directeur général de Bpifrance. #PénurieMédicaments

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