Sweden needs to unite behind an independent AstraZeneca


The parts of AstraZeneca’s operations that are based in Sweden appear not to be on the agenda as Pfizer plans a takeover of AstraZeneca. No matter the reason, it is important that we as representatives of the Swedish interests stand up for those interests. 

As representatives of the employees at AstraZeneca’s facilities in Mölndal and Södertälje, we support the government in its stated position of retaining AstraZeneca and a strong life-science sector in Sweden in the future. We also support showing national strength by taking a common stance against the acquisition.

We also wish to draw attention to the initiatives taken and investments made by the government to maintain a strong life sciences-sector in Sweden, from early research to production, and including adapting to the changing circumstances of the industry. We can only hope that these investments and initiatives have not been in vain. It is also of the utmost importance that these measures are continued and expanded further in order to create as attractive an environment for the industry in Sweden as possible.

It is our belief that the ultimate public interest lies in maintaining a strong and independent AstraZeneca under British-Swedish leadership. It would be extremely unfortunate if this branch of Swedish industrial culture – with a strong foundation of competence and research in this country – were to be shattered for the sake of short-term interests where tax minimization is the main aim rather than the development of new medicines.

We believe there is long-term value for Sweden and Europe as a whole in maintaining an independent AstraZeneca. But it is also important for the development of new medicines from a global perspective to have several leading players, with diverse research portfolios and directions.

We hope that it is still possible to influence the course of this business arrangement. The decision rests with the shareholders. It is therefore important that the owners see beyond the short term to their true long-term interests. For Sweden, the issue raises the issues of strong employment, the research and innovation climate, the business environment and export markets.

The corporate leadership of AstraZeneca, the labour organizations and industry representatives stand united behind allowing AstraZeneca to continue, independently and without interference, to develop new potential medicines that it has under development. Investor, as one of the largest shareholders, also supports AstraZeneca as an independent company.

We would greatly appreciate and strongly support a clear statement from the government, and look forward to engaging in a dialogue on the issue.

Sofia Johannesson, chairman, Akademikerföreningen, AstraZeneca Södertälje

Martin Lindsjö, chairman, Akademikerföreningen, AstraZeneca Mölndal

Eva Cederwall Finn, local president at the Unionen branch in AstraZeneca Södertälje

Kari Elderot, club chairman, Ledarna, AstraZeneca Mölndal and Södertälje

Mikael Hansson, local president at the Unionen branch in AstraZeneca Mölndal