Statement 27 September 2018

R&D-based biopharmaceutical industry welcomes UN Declaration on NCDs


Delivered by Martin Bernhardt, IFPMA

IFPMA represents leading research-based pharmaceutical companies as well as national and regional industry associations across the world.

We welcome the strong re-affirmation of the political commitment to accelerate the implementation of the 2011 and the 2014 political declaration outcome documents to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 2030 by one third through prevention, treatment and care.

We particularly welcome the empowerment of individuals to make informed choices by strengthening health literacy and to improve health outcomes through high quality, integrated health care services responsive to people living with NCDs.

We strongly support reorienting health systems towards the achievement of universal health coverage.

However, the outcome document to be adopted today also states that action to realize the NCD commitments is inadequate, and that the current level of progress and investment is insufficient to meet target 3.4 of the SDGs.

We echo these concerns, particularly as one identified reason is insufficient multi-sectorial collaboration.

At the first HLM on NCDs in 2011 we, the innovative pharmaceutical industry, committed to a Framework for Action for the Prevention and Control of NCDs. Delivering on our commitments we have since continuously engaged in a wide array of collaborations, access initiatives and evidence contribution. Based on insights from these programs, we believe that only a structured, collaborative effort will enable us to meet the shared goals of all global health stakeholders to expand patient access to quality health care services and medicines and enable long-term sustainability of the health sector.

With high commitment of our CEOs, 24 innovative biopharmaceutical companies have raised collaboration to a new level through the Access Accelerated (AA) initiative. Through partnering with a wide variety of stakeholders we drive cross-sectorial dialogue and implementation of NCD action plans in a transparent and measurable way. Examples include strengthening health systems in Kenya and El Salvador with the World Bank and a strategic partnership with UICC in the CCan2025 initiative.

We believe that strategies for financing healthcare systems to address the challenges of NCDs remain an essential area where significant efforts by Member States and the international community are still required.

Ensuring sustainable financing is a critical element of attaining Universal Health Coverage.

Affordability should be examined through a systemic review of health care expenditures, not focussing solely on the cost of medicines. Policies to achieve affordability and sustainable access for patients are most effectively addressed through improved financing and reimbursement policies to reduce out-of-pocket expense, including a combination of public financing and private insurance coverage. Where affordability represents a specific barrier to access, innovative models exist where industry collaborates with regional and local governments to address this issue in a holistic and sustainable manner.

We reiterate that the innovative pharmaceutical industry is committed to work with all stakeholders to expand access to prevention, treatment and care, support capacity building and health literacy, foster patient empowerment and strengthen health systems preparedness for the management of non-communicable diseases, related mental health disorders and other mental health conditions.

Given the lack of sufficient progress and the scale of the global health challenge that NCDs pose, there is an urgent need to work together more decisively. Our industry stands ready to play our part.


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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