Statement 12 October 2018

R&D biopharmaceutical industry at WHS 2018 urges finding joint solutions to achieve better health outcomes including forging impactful partnerships


Sunday, 14 October 2018, Berlin – The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the body accredited by the United Nations (UN) to represent the R&D biopharmaceutical industry, supports forward-looking discussions on key global health policies that are on the Summit’s agenda, including Sustainable Development Goals, access to essential medicines, strengthening health systems, pandemic preparedness, and antimicrobial resistance. IFPMA has used 2018, its 50th anniversary year, to underscore the message that that the R&D biopharmaceutical industry needs to do more and do better in bringing the fruits of its innovation to all, regardless of economic circumstances; but it cannot do this alone.

The research-based biopharmaceutical industry acknowledges that it needs to do more and do better to bring the fruits of its innovation to all, regardless of economic circumstances. Our industry is much more than a supplier of medicines and vaccines, and is pioneering ways to overcome the multiple barriers to access to quality healthcare. Developing more collaborations will enable healthcare companies to deliver products and services more efficiently and can accelerate progress towards reaching Universal Health Coverage”. Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA.

The power of the World Health Summit 2018 to convene leading policy experts, government and UN officials, and industry leaders can play an important role in tabling viable solutions for the UHC Forum next year and help pave the way for people everywhere to access quality health services, without risking financial hardship.

IFPMA is partnering with WHS 2018 to voice the R&D biopharmaceutical industry’s commitment and contribution to innovative thinking and concrete responses needed to achieve long-term gains for people and their communities. Investing in the health economy, improving infrastructure and supply chains, and enhancing community-based health services, with a focus on prevention, needs to be a key area of focus. This includes ensuring robust routine immunization programs to curb the threat of emerging infectious diseases and allow health systems to effectively and decisively respond to health security threats.

Pandemic preparedness is a matter of global security, as pandemics and life-threatening infectious diseases know no borders. The centenary of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and the recent deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo are a reminder that complacency is not an option in the global response to infectious diseases.

IFPMA and its R&D biopharmaceutical members companies and associations will repeat their pledge to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), an imminent global crisis that requires a coordinated and multi-pronged response from all stakeholders, including governments, industry and healthcare providers. IFPMA advocates for more collaboration between governments and the private sector to address the challenges of AMR, exploring novel ways to stimulate future investments for innovation. IFPMA is a leading force in the life-science sector’s response to this global crisis and has been instrumental in creating the AMR Industry Alliance, a coalition of over 100 biotechnology, diagnostic, generic and R&D biopharmaceutical companies, formed to drive and measure the life-science industry’s progress in the fight against AMR.

“I’m excited to take part in the year’s World Health Summit. I look forward to robust and solutions focused discussions. It is only by leveraging our collective experience, skills, resources and networks that our impact can be exponentially larger than if we were acting alone. To do better, go further and faster we will need more dialogue and more partnerships, of all kinds.” Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA.


Thomas Cueni, Director General of IFPMA, and Chair of the AMR Industry Alliance, will be available for comment and interviews throughout the Summit (in English, German and French) on a range of themes on UHC including reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) over falsified and substandard medicines to access to essential medicines, as well as issues related to global health security, antimicrobial resistance, and pandemic preparedness.

You can hear them speak at the following sessions:

  • Lunchtime Panel Discussion on the Road to Universal Health Coverage, Sunday, 14 October from 12:30–13:45
  • Keynote KEY03 Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Monday, 15 October, 14:00–16:00
  • Workshop WS25 Access to Essential Medicines, Tuesday, 16 October, 11:00–12:30

Please contact: Sadia Kaenzig: (Tel: +41 79 513 44 42) or Misachi Ogawa (Tel: +32 486 335 733) who are both at the World Health Summit.


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