Press release 3 February 2017

IFPMA and the IAEA through its Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) join forces to make a difference in comprehensive cancer control

  • The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and its members, with an additional contribution from Bristol-Myers Squibb, will support the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and will focus on critical areas such as awareness raising, resource mobilization, and capacity building.
  • First collaboration of its kind will open new avenues for joint public-private efforts to curb cancer.
  • Partnership promotes comprehensive cancer control as unique approach to fight a disease killing yearly more people than HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined.

Vienna, 3 February 2017 – The IAEA and IFPMA announced today that they will join forces in the area of comprehensive cancer control. This new collaboration is centered on helping to ensure cancer is a health priority at national and global levels, and supporting stronger health system capacities to ensure overall cancer information and care is available in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

This collaboration will help the IAEA’ engage in strategic public-private partnerships to support and raise funds for the implementation of comprehensive cancer control projects and implement communication and awareness raising strategies for resource mobilization.

The two organizations will also collaborate on training and education of the health workforce in the area of comprehensive cancer control to enhance investments in healthcare solutions.

IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy Director, Nelly Enwerem-Bromson, said: “Building skills within the health workforce is vital in order to provide adequate, quality cancer care, this partnership helps us to create vital bridges with the private sector to boost life-saving investments in cancer control for most affected countries”.

Cancer has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Globally, it kills more than 8.2 million people every year. The majority of deaths occur in LMICs, and the projections indicate that in these countries more than 9 million people are expected to lose their battle with cancer annually by 2030. In addition to demographic and lifestyle changes, LMICs suffer from a poor or non-existent cancer control infrastructure as well as a shortage of properly trained human resources.

Initial collaborative efforts will be in the area of training and education and will also leverage additional contributions to the initiative from Bristol-Myers Squibb. The initiative will help strengthen the Virtual University for Cancer Control (VUCCnet) – a programme that offers countries customized, accessible, high-quality, and freely available training across all stages of the cancer care continuum. VUCCnet envisages courses designed to upgrade skills of working professionals and master’s level courses complementing institutional student learning. VUCCnet is in the process of further curriculum development and is planned to be rolled out in 33 sub-Saharan African countries following a successful pilot phase.

“We are delighted to support the IAEA through PACT in strengthening cancer control knowledge and training capacity in LMICs”, said Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA. He added: “Through focused programs like the VUCCnet, we help catalyze new partnerships and advance the resources and knowledge needed to enable countries to reverse the increasing burden of NCDs”.

The collaboration promotes comprehensive cancer control as a unique approach to fight cancer. Both organizations will leverage respective know-how gained by existing initiatives such as the “IAEA-IARC-WHO project on comprehensive cancer control” aimed to increase capacity of health systems in selected countries through establishing roadmaps for implementation of national cancer control priorities, capacity development of health workforce and support in resource mobilization efforts of IAEA Member States.

In addition, the recently launched “Access Accelerated”, a first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder collaboration focused on improving NCD care, involves 22 biopharmaceutical companies and works with partners such as the World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to help overcome a variety of access barriers to NCD medicines in LMICs. Access Accelerated supports multi-stakeholder dialogue and works to improve NCD prevention, diagnosis and treatment.


About the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)

The IAEA has worked for over 40 years supporting countries in the use of nuclear techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases. The Agency’s Programme of Action for Cancer Treatment (PACT) was established in 2005 to focus efforts on fighting the growing cancer crisis in the developing world. PACT works to improve IAEA Member States’ capacities to address the growing cancer burden through the integration of radiotherapy technologies within a comprehensive national cancer control programme and builds strong strategic partnerships, particularly with the World Health Organization and other international organizations, to provide equitable, affordable and quality access to cancer care for all cancer patients to the highest standards.

About the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)

IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry’s 2 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health. IFPMA advocates policies and practices that encourage the discovery of and access to life-saving and life-enhancing medicines and vaccines, for people everywhere.

For further information, please contact

Morgane De Pol
Manager, Communications & Public Affairs
Tel: +41 22 338 32 20


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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