@WHA70 Biotherapeutics & the next 70 years: delivering on their potential for patients globally

23 May 2017 Museum of the Red CRoss Red Crescent in Geneva

23 May 2017


12:00 - 13:00


Museum of the Red CRoss Red Crescent in Geneva


This event has now passed. To browse our upcoming events click here.

The International Alliance of Patients Organizations (IAPO) and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers will host a side-event at 70th World Health Assembly on 23rd May 2017 with the goal of taking collaborative and coordinated actions to improve access to biotherapeutics by 2030 as a part of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Please register for the event using the link on the “Save the Date” document.

For further information please contact the IAPO team on dani@iapo.org.uk


May 23, 12:00 to 13:00

For the past 70 years, populations around the world have experienced tremendous advances in health and wellbeing due in part to traditional small molecule medicines, including their generic counterparts, made available through collective actions of the global pharmaceutical industry as well as the stewardship of the World Health Organization in promoting universal healthcare and access to essential medicines.

There is no doubt that advances in the next 70 years will come from biotherapeutics, medicines produced using biotechnology to genetically engineer cells from a host of living organisms. Daily, we are discovering new types of cytokines, replacement factors, hormones, and other cell-modifying peptides and proteins as well as new applications for existing biotherapeutics. With the advent of safe, effective, and quality biosimilars, we can look toward delivering the benefits of biotherapeutics to many more patients and populations.


Kawaldip Sehmi CEO - International Alliance of Patient’s Organizations

Kawaldip Sehmi is the CEO of the International Alliance of Patient’s Organizations. He has an academic background in Public Health and Law. He has held the position of a managing director of an international children’s legal centre, leading a team of international lawyers working on the rights of the child, including right to health, and served as the CEO of an international mental health charity specialising in niche mental health services supporting young people and adults with complex mental health, personality disorder and substance misuse problems. Supporting clients access legal services and offering information, advice, outpatient and residential care within therapeutic community settings.

A passionate advocate of WHO’s human rights based approaches to health and strengthening of the institutional and legal framework needed to support the achievement of the socioeconomic determinant of health goals within the sustainable developmental goals 2030 and universal health coverage SDG 3.8. He also brings commercial experience of running an international design and build partnership backed by an MBA degree.

Andrew Spiegel Executive Director - Global Colon Cancer Association

Andrew Spiegel has nearly two decades of experience in the patient advocacy arena. Spiegel co-founded the Colon Cancer Alliance, now the leading US based national patient advocacy organization dedicated to colon cancer. Mr. Spiegel, an attorney, besides being a co-founder of the organization and longtime board member of the Alliance became CEO in January of 2008 and he ran the CCA for nearly 5 years, before undertaking his next venture, the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA).

Currently, Spiegel is co-founder and executive director of the GCCA, an international patient advocacy organization. This organization is an international community of colon cancer patient advocacy organizations and stakeholders dedicated to end the worldwide suffering of the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths.

In addition to his work in the colon cancer community, Spiegel is an active advocate for healthcare policies both in the US and now worldwide. He is a co-founder and currently serves on the steering committee of the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM). He is on the Board of Directors, and in December 2014 was elected to Chair, of the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC), a founding member of the Coalition to Increase Clinical Trial Participation and in May of 2016 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Alliance of Patient Organizations (IAPO) where he chairs the fundraising committee.

Spiegel is a 1986 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in English and Philosophy. He is a 1989 graduate of the Widener University School of Law. After working for a Philadelphia litigation firm, Spiegel opened his own law firm in 1995.

Durhane Wong-Rieger President & CEO - Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders

Durhane Wong-Rieger (PhD), is Chair of Rare Disease International (the global alliance of rare disease patient organizations), Past-Chair of the International Alliance of Patient Organizations, member of the Editorial Board of The Patient- Patient Centred Outcomes Research and member of Health Technology Assessment International Patient /Citizen Involvement Interest Group. In Canada, she is President & CEO of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (the umbrella organization of patients and patient groups), Chair of the Consumer Advocare Network (a national network for patient engagement in healthcare policy and advocacy), President & CEO of the Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes (providing training and direct service on health coaching and patient self-management) and Chair of FH Canada Patient Network. She is a certified Health Coach and licensed T-Trainer with the Stanford-based Living A Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.

Dr. Wong-Rieger has served on numerous health policy advisory committees and panels and is a member of the Working Group for Ontario’s Rare Disease Strategy and member of the Patient Liaison Forum for the Canadian Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Durhane has a PhD in psychology from McGill University and was professor at the University of Windsor, Canada. She is a trainer and frequent lecturer and author of three books and many articles.

Luc Besançon CEO - International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

Luc Besançon is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) which is the global federation gathering 139 national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Luc completed his Doctorat d’État en Pharmacie (PharmD) in 2004 further to an education in France (Université de Bourgogne) and Canada (Université Laval). He also completed a Master’s Degree in Communication (major in European Public Relations) at Paris V – La Sorbonne in 2003.

He moved in the Netherlands in 2008 to join FIP as a lead in Professional and Scientific Affairs.
Prior to that, he had worked for five years as a professional adviser for international affairs and for pharmacists’ competence at the Ordre national des pharmaciens, the French body in charge of the regulation of pharmacists.

Mareike Ostertag Director Science and Regulatory Policy - Novartis AG

Mareike Ostertag has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In 15 years with Novartis, Dr. Ostertag held different roles with increasing responsibility within the company as well as with external industry- and non-industry partners.

Roles included Technical Marketing, Global Project Management R&D, Alliance Management R&D as well as Public Private Partnership and Stakeholder Management for Middle East and Africa.

As part of her previous roles, she successfully led Due Diligence projects for Biologic development projects and was responsible for the integration and Alliance Management of licensed Biologics projects into the Novartis portfolio.

In her current role, Mareike Ostertag focusses on policy issues related to R&D across the Novartis Divisions, with specific focus on Biotherapeutics including Biosimilars, IP and R&D incentives and Orphan Diseases.

Dr. Ostertag holds a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Giessen, Germany and a PhD in cellular immunology.

A native German, Mareike Ostertag has been living and working in Switzerland and the US throughout the past 12 years. She is married and today lives outside of Basel, Switzerland.

Publication: Saunders (now Ostertag), M.; Taubert, A; Dafa’alla, T; Zahner, H:
Effect of chemotherapeutic treatment on cytokine (IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10) gene transcription in response to specific antigens in Brugia malayi-infected Mastomys coucha. Parasitol. Res. (2008) 103:1163-1176

Claire Doole Moderator, Former BBC correspondent, communications trainer and content producer

Claire Doole is a former BBC journalist and international spokeswoman who is passionate about helping people communicate with confidence.

Since 2006, she has successfully trained hundreds of professionals in the art of presenting and public speaking, talking to the media, managing communications in a crisis, moderating panel discussions and effective writing. In addition, she has coached C-level executives and public figures to give powerful TEDx and TED style talks in Europe and the Middle East. In her training and coaching, Claire is committed to helping her clients gain powerful communication skills.

Claire is also an accomplished content creator. She has produced hundreds of videos and video interviews for websites, social media platforms, events and conferences. She has written numerous articles for international organisations and her blogs appear on several Geneva and Brussels-based media outlets.


Supporting documents