Statement 21 September 2023

Statement at the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage


On 21 September 2023, IFPMA submitted a statement at the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in New York.

Excellencies, Distinguished Participants, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) would like to thank the UN General Assembly for convening the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

COVID-19 has highlighted the link between UHC and global health security and 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 Universal Health Coverage Report, published jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, underlines the need for urgent progress against the SDG target 3.8 on UHC, and we share the ambition to accelerate action toward delivering universal healthcare coverage.

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 of the world. 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 combined efforts of all stakeholders.

As a partner of the UHC 2030 movement, IFPMA and its members reinforce the private sector’s commitments to achieving UHC and fully support the UHC2030 Action Agenda and the UHC2030 PSC Statement, which outline key principles to guide collective action toward 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 care workers 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