Statement 27 May 2019

IFPMA Statement at WHA72 agenda item 11.7 Access to medicines and vaccines


IFPMA, supported by ICBA, share the goal of WHO and its Members to ensure appropriate access to affordable and quality-assured medicines and vaccines as a key component of UHC. We appreciate WHO’s efforts to develop the Roadmap, which could be a useful tool in providing greater clarity between various activities by the Organization.

We also acknowledge concerns about affordability and resource constraints on health systems, and reiterate our commitment to being a solutions partner in addressing these challenges.

However, we are concerned that some proposals in the Roadmap and at this Assembly focusing on transparency and IP would deter from holistic and sustainable solutions to access.

Long-term solutions to access challenges must promote sustained investments in health systems strengthening, together with an innovation ecosystem that incentivises research in new products – the generics of tomorrow. Strong IP protection is a key component of such ecosystem, and WHO’s activities in the area should support the private sector’s vibrant pipeline to address today’s unmet medical needs.

We have heard the concerns raised regarding transparency and understand the call for more information about our scientifically complex, and high-risk business model. For example, IFPMA’s Principles for Responsible Clinical Trial Data Sharing promotes medical and scientific advancement via data sharing with researchers. In addition, we spearheaded the Pat-INFORMED to facilitate access to medicine patent information.

We urge Member States to carefully consider potential risks to patients, particularly in less developed countries, of sharing outcomes of confidential prices negotiations across countries. We also caution against disclosure requirements on R&D costs that underscore “cost-plus” models. Prices should reflect the therapeutic value of medicines and positive outcomes for patients and society, rather than simply the cost “input” of a individual medicine.

We stand ready to discuss and collaborate on these important issues.


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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Elliot Dunster