Statement 29 January 2019

EB 144 agenda item 5.7, “Technical” Report on Cancer Pricing


Delivered by Sara Amini, Senior Manager, Social and Economic Policy, IFPMA

IFPMA and its members are fully committed to partnering with governments and the WHO to improve access to and affordability of treatments to fight cancer. We are concerned that the Technical Report has been developed without adequate consultations with key stakeholders, including industry, as well as patient groups and national regulatory authorities, who could speak to industry practices, approval practices and the benefits of oncology therapies. As a result, this assessment does not reflect the full economic value to society from these innovations.

The Report also failed to analyze the unintended negative consequences of its policy recommendations, such as the impact of full price transparency on the capacity of companies to provide preferential prices to developing countries. It does not appropriately take into account the specificity of different national healthcare systems, particularly between developed and developing countries, and promotes policies that could be detrimental to many countries.  It relies on flawed methodology resulting in overstating the return on investment, suggesting that industry achieves a windfall 1,400% return on investment, contrary to a recent report that estimates R&D returns for biopharmaceutical companies have declined to 1.9%. Instead of giving due consideration to the innovation ecosystem, the Report takes a myopic approach to the assessment of R&D investments, ignoring that revenue from oncology treatments also support and fund research into other devastating diseases.

To echo the statement made yesterday by Dr. Tedros, SDGs cannot be realised without involvement of all stakeholders, including the private sector. Indeed, improving access to and affordability of cancer treatments can only be achieved through collaboration, investment in strengthening health systems, reducing financial hardship and out of pocket expense for treatments for patients, while supporting innovation that deliver breakthrough treatments of tomorrow.


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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