The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has launched a "groundbreaking" vision of a life sciences strategy for Europe.
Health & Growth - Working together for a healthy Europe calls for new partnerships and collaborative solutions to the EU's health and competitiveness challenges.
It says the pharmaceutical sector needs to be central to the reform and growth of the continent and provides recommendations to ensure Europe continues to lead the world in research and development, as well as improving citizens' health and creating jobs.
According to EFPIA, as Europe is now emerging from the recession, there are opportunities for the pharmaceutical sector to promote economic growth.
A comprehensive strategy for life sciences can be achieved with greater collaboration between governments, EFPIA states, and this would be built on three separate but interdependent pillars.
The first of these pillars is the improvement of health outcomes and removal of inequalities to ensure patients receive better benefits.
Secondly, there needs to be more support for sustainable and predictable healthcare systems to speed up access to medicines.
The final pillar is the development of a thriving life sciences sector to promote the competitiveness of Europe.
Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi and president of EFPIA, said: "We need to better understand the environmental and demographic factors driving healthcare spending, what are the future needs in terms of prevention and disease management, what is the value of investment in different areas and what innovative approaches will have the most effect.
"If we want sustainable systems, we can't revamp just one area; we need to address the system as a whole."
Richard Bergstrom, director general of EFPIA, said the economic argument is inseparable from issues of well being if the sector is to succeed in Europe. He said the formation of the new strategy will ensure the industry meets its objectives beyond the end of the decade.
The strategy was launched in Lyon, France, at an event which brought together international decision makers from academic, private, policy-making and civil society backgrounds.