7th Health Challenges Congress in the shadow of the war in Ukraine

4 March 2022

At this year’s HCC2022, the debates were dominated by areas directly affected by the war in Ukraine. The topics discussed included ways to secure uninterrupted drug access to patients, vaccination policy, medical staffing shortages and cybersecurity issues, and refugee access to the Polish healthcare system. Also debated was the development of novel medical technologies and innovative solutions for the digitization of the medical sector. In addition, the experts addressed present-day challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the healthcare system.

Adamed once again actively participated in the event. At the panel called “Pharmaceutical industry in Poland”, Anna Terlecka, Research and Development Director at Adamed Pharma, and other participants discussed a range of topics including ways in which the war in Ukraine was affecting the Polish pharmaceutical industry.

At the beginning of her presentation, Anna Terlecka highlighted Adamed Pharma’s commitment to help: “In the face of the current military conflict, we’ve been focusing our efforts on our fellow workers in Ukraine. We’re helping them and their families to evacuate, and make sure that their life’s needs are provided for, and they have the necessary material and psychological support. We’re also cooperating with the Polish government and the Strategic Reserves Agency, industry organizations, and institutions providing coordinated humanitarian aid to Ukrainian citizens.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis it created have taught us that preparation is key. That’s why we have been expanding our production and storage capacities over the past two years. We’re also monitoring stock levels and supply chains on an ongoing basis. As in all other crises, Adamed’s priority is to ensure a constant and steady supply of medicines. In the current situation, this means supplying drugs to Ukraine and securing uninterrupted drug access to Polish patients. At present, all Adamed production plants are operating smoothly. We have sufficient stocks of APIs, other production materials, and finished products. We’re monitoring our supply chains on an ongoing basis” – said Adamed Pharma’s Research and Development Director.

Other topics covered during the session included ways and means to prepare the pharmaceutical market for emergency circumstances, and statutory and formal support needed by the pharmaceutical industry to handle crisis situations. Anna Terlecka underlined the crucial importance of development efforts and investments. “Our plan to secure patient access to medications remains unchanged, and relies on investments and development. We’re planning to earmark approximately PLN 1 billion for investments by 2025, and allocate PLN 120–130 million a year for drug development projects through our R&D. That’s why we need structured support for research projects and investments to be able to improve productivity and bring new effective therapies to the Polish market”.

The participants also touched upon the issue of cooperation between science and industry, for example with respect to funding research projects and technology transfer to Polish industry.

Anna Terlecka pointed out that more funds available under programs for financing research projects should be allocated towards value-added products, as opposed to completely new molecules. She stressed that Adamed relied on the Polish scientific prowess. “In the area that I manage, we worked on a total of 52 R&D projects at various stages of evolution last year. That figure includes 25 ongoing clinical trials. We’ve accomplished that despite the pandemic which has been going on for two years.”

Anna Terlecka also described Adamed’s experience with foreign technology transfers: “In Poland, we focus on intra-firm technology transfers. We also cooperate on a co-development basis with business partners from all over the world, co-financing and sharing development risks. Such technology transfers take place in both directions.”

Summing up, Anna Terlecka stated: “Both the pandemic and the ongoing war have made us acutely aware of how important it is to secure drug access. We’re all affected by uncertainty, and we’re making an enormous effort to prevent drug shortages. We need business stability and an economic environment that fosters investments.”

We support start-ups in Polish medicine

On the first day of the Congress, Marcin Szczeciński, Adamed’s Investment Manager, took part in the session accompanying the presentations of the finalists of the 4th Start-Up-Med Competition, and again sat on the jury.

Marcin Szczeciński emphasized that truly innovative solutions in the healthcare sector needed time to get off the ground: “Projects, especially those involving medicine, take more than one day to develop. It’s an inherent feature of this industry. I am pleased to see these projects mature through various stages of research and investments.

The winner of this year’s competition in the ‘Start-up’ category is Human Biome Institute S.A., and the award-winning solution is the company’s professional gut microbiota bank. AMULET, a telecare system based on ambulatory care points dedicated to heart failure patients with elements of home telemonitoring, won in the ‘Medical/Scientific Center’ category. The solution was developed by a consortium headed by the Military Medical Institute in Warsaw.


The 7th edition of the Health Challenges Congress took place on 3–4 March 2022. Every year, the event attracts outstanding specialists from over a dozen medical disciplines, representatives of science and patient organizations, decision-makers impacting the development of the healthcare system in Poland as well as representatives of the economy, business, pharmaceutical industry, and financial and insurance markets. The main idea behind the Congress is to address key challenges faced by the healthcare system in the areas of therapy, organization and finances, and technology.