DG’s Column

Dear Readers,

Welcome to my weekly editorial column!

The purpose of my column is to provide perspective on the issues that the biopharma industry we represent is addressing in collaboration with partners here in Geneva and around the world.   These include the innovation ecosystem, vaccines, pandemic preparedness, antimicrobial resistance, access to medicines and many others. My column is built upon my weekly contribution to Basler Zeitung, a leading Swiss newspaper.  I hope you enjoy these thoughts I share, which reflect my commitment to continue bringing you expertise and reflections on key issues and policies that you expect from IFPMA. I know that in this fast changing world, divergent opinions matter and I would like to engage you in these conversations and hear your thoughts as well.   Please add your comments below or follow me on Twitter:  @ThomasCueni.

So let’s go digital and enjoy the journey!

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Thomas B. Cueni
  I must admit I had been somewhat skeptical about the "WHO Fair Pricing Forum" held last week in Amsterdam. There were multiple reasons for my apprehension. One concern was clearly that the notion of “fair” is pretty much in the eye of the beholder, another was that none of ...
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Over the course of my lifetime, human lifespan extended by three decades.  Today we hope to lead healthy lives well into our 80s. Now I have to declare a vested interest in this topic:  I am an aspiring role model for active and healthy ageing (I’m past 60 and look ...
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As we look forward to hosting the Geneva Pharma Forum during current World Immunization Week, finding solutions to pre-empt or mitigate vaccine shortages is top-of-mind here at IFPMA and for our members. What’s more, recently the first Access to Vaccines Index (ATVI) was published – a set of report cards ...
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After 30 years in the world of policymaking and business, there is not much that can faze me; but it is fair to say that nothing could have prepared me for meeting Agnes. This has been a week when Geneva played host to ministers, scientists, WHO officials, philanthropists and business ...
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Angkor Thom. Siem Reap Cambodia
The name Kantha Bopha is well known in Switzerland. Beat Richner, pediatrician, cello player, and savvy fundraiser, has been working there tirelessly for over 20 years on his life-long project. He had already worked at the Children's Hospital in Phnom Penh in the early 70’s, then the terror of the ...
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Animal testing has been and will remain controversial. Whereas most people accept the need to test new medicines or vaccines on laboratory animals before they are authorized for human use, it is also widely accepted that there is a need to strike the right and careful balance between expected benefit ...
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It is quite amazing how health policy discussions are often held in a distorted and simplified manner. Nowhere does this apply more than in discussions on drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. Although a large portion of public health spending is accounted for by hospitals, doctors, other health care personnel, and ...
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(This is a re-posting that was first published on Monday 13 March in the Basler Zeitung) ‘Vets are expensive. Antibiotics are cheap.’ In a nutshell, this was a quote extracted from last week’s BBC report of the growing global problem of antimicrobial resistance highlighting the plight of overuse of antibiotics on ...
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Costs of cancer drugs have risen significantly in Switzerland over the past ten years, from an estimated CHF 445 million to CHF 775 million at ex-factory prices. Bearing in mind future combination treatments in immune-oncology, treatments which are likely to bring from now on unhoped for outcomes, it is timely ...
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We need an informed societal debate on how much prolonging life should be allowed to cost (Note to our readers: This is a re-posting that was first published on Monday 27 February in the Basler Zeitung) Recently, the Secretary of Health for the Swiss canton of Zurich, Thomas Heiniger, called for ...
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