Statement 2 November 2023

IFPMA statement on Universal Health Coverage at the 76th session of WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia


On 2 November in New Delhi, India, IFPMA submitted a statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at the 76th session of WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia.

COVID-19 has highlighted the link between Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and global health security. It brought broad recognition that chronic conditions and pandemics constitute a “perfect storm” that requires building strong and resilient health systems and increasing health equity.

The 2023 UHC Global Monitoring Report, published jointly by WHO and the World Bank, underlines the need for urgent progress toward the SDG target 3.8 on UHC, and we share the ambition to accelerate action to deliver UHC.

The panel rightly explored the critical role of primary healthcare (PHC) as the foundation for UHC. We agree that a well-resourced PHC system is essential to support the health of people in all countries worldwide. PHC should deliver essential programs, including life course approaches to prevention (including vaccination), health promotion, screening, diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, and follow-up. This can only be sustainable with sufficient domestic financing over the long-term.

Achieving SDG 3 requires investing more and investing better on effective interventions toward UHC. While UHC is the primary responsibility of governments, success relies on the combined efforts of all stakeholders.

IFPMA and its members reinforce the private sector’s commitments to achieving UHC. As a member of the UHC2030 movement, we fully support the UHC2030 Action Agenda and the UHC2030 Private Sector Constituency Statement, which outline key principles to guide collective action on UHC. The innovative pharmaceutical industry is committed to scaling up our contributions to UHC. We acknowledge our role in helping to improve access to quality, affordable vaccines, medicines, and healthcare for all, via innovative approaches and partnerships.

Sustained political support and effective multi-sectoral mobilization will be needed for countries to properly resource and protect health and strengthen PHC systems as the foundation of UHC. UHC is the only solution to ensuring a stable and predictable flow of resources to the health sector and is an investment in the foundation of a healthier, more sustainable future for all.


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