Statement 6 February 2019

EB 144 agenda item 5.5 Universal health coverage


Delivered by Vanessa Peberdy, Manager, Global Health Policy, IFPMA

IFPMA strongly welcomes the upcoming first-ever United Nations high-level meeting (UNHLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We also support the WHO’s ambitious goal to ensure a billion more people benefit from UHC – as outlined in GPW 13 – and welcome the recognition that UHC must include access to affordable and quality-assured medicines, vaccines and health products.

IFPMA believes that structured, collaborative action on UHC will help meet the shared goals of expanding patient access to medicines through innovative solutions, and achieving long-term sustainability of the health sector. Meaningful progress and sustainable solutions can only be found in a multi-stakeholder approach and we call for recognition of the value that the biopharmaceutical industry brings. To this end, we are pleased to be a Core Member of the Private Sector Constituency of UHC 2030, a multi-stakeholder platform which advocates increased political commitment to UHC and facilitates accountability and knowledge sharing.

The biopharmaceutical industry is an important partner, especially in regards to investing in the research and development of new treatments and cures and we remain committed to finding ways to improve access and affordability to quality medicines and vaccines. Through our work in novel partnerships with governments, NGOs, and private sector entities, the industry is supporting UHC through health systems strengthening – ensuring the quality and integrity of the supply chain, training health care workers, and exploring innovative approaches to financing health coverage.

The UNHLM on UHC offers a chance to revolutionise the way our political leaders see expanding quality health coverage – not as a cost but as a genuine investment in our human capital, as the drivers of economic development and growth. We look forward to continuing a constructive and inclusive debate on how to help countries move forward on achieving UHC.


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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