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Qatar Cargo adds Helsinki as Finnish pharma industry expands

DOHA: October 03, 2017. Qatar Airways Cargo has added Helsinki as its 74th pharma destination following the addition of Dublin in June this year.

Chief officer Cargo Ulrich Ogiermann said the inclusion in the airline's 'QR Pharma' network means it can offer Finnish importers and exporters seamless connectivity "while adhering to the highest cool chain standards". The airline recently signed an agreement with Dokasch to offer shippers its Opticooler range of temperature-controlled containers.

According to Pharma Industry Finland (PIF), the country's pharma sector saw a rise in investment from €220 million to €227 million in 2016 as a result of increased R&D.

Helsinki"We provide solutions primarily for people's health and, at the same time, the new jobs and tax revenue generated through the investments in the pharmaceutical industry contribute to a recovery of the country's economy," commented PIF general manager Jussi Merikallio.

As wholesale prices rose 3.8 percent to €2.4 billion in 2016, Finnish pharma and medical device exports grew by over six percent to major markets in the EU plus Russia and Switzerland.

"Finnish people are ageing, and this causes an increase in the occurrence of various chronic diseases. At the same time, however, the development in pharmaceutical R&D makes it possible to avoid hospitalization and to treat the patients at home," explained PIF analyst Nadja Tamminen.

The organization added it was "delighted" that Finland's government has applied to have the European Medicines Agency (EMA) relocate from London to Helsinki as a result of Brexit.

EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation of the European marketing authorization applications related to medicinal products.

"We welcome the Finnish decision to enter in the competition for EMA's new location, " said PIF general manager Jussi Merikallio. "Finland has solid pharmaceutical branch competence, especially as concerns the future pharmaceutical core areas, such as the development of individual pharmacotherapies.

"Moreover, the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) is an authority highly recognised throughout Europe, with an important role in the EMA operations," he noted.

In a survey of EMA staff published this week, 65 percent said they would stay with the agency if the new host city was Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, or Vienna. On the other hand the survey sugested the EMA would lose over 70 percent of its staff if it ended up in Athens, Bratislava, Bucharest, Malta, Sofia, Warsaw, Zagreb - or Helsinki.

Qatar Airways operates a daily B787 between Doha and Helsinki with capacity of 35 tons in each direction.

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