Press release 28 May 2018

The R&D-based pharmaceutical industry supports the World Health Organization 5-year work plan and welcomes new era on health partnerships

Press release

28 May 2018, Geneva – IFPMA, the voice of the biopharmaceutical innovation and health progress around the world, made a series of statements during the 71st World Health Assembly. As the Assembly kicked off, IFPMA called for even greater collaboration as being critical to future global health progress. In his inaugural and closing remarks, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director General, highlighted the role of the private sector and the need to engage in “whatever partnerships are open to us, in whatever way we can, to achieve our goal”.

During this year’s Assembly, IFPMA celebrated its 50th anniversary and launched a report “50 Years of Global Health Progress” at the event “Continuing progress in global health: Working together for the future”. Reflecting on a productive Assembly: Thomas Cueni, IFPMA’s Director General stated: “We offer our support to WHO in this new era of global health partnerships to deliver on our shared objective for improved health outcomes and impacts. In tackling the healthcare challenges of the developing world, we need to leave our own ‘comfort zone’ and collaborate with others, be it in engaging on health systems reform or in partnerships to bring innovative medicines to millions of more people in resource constrained settings.”

IFPMA was pleased that the WHO General Program of Work (GPW) was approved. In its statement, IFPMA welcomed the ambitious goals and the focus on outcomes and impact: “We strongly agree that the private sector is a key partner to achieving its targets and we stand ready to play our part. As a non-State actor in longstanding official relations with WHO, we look forward to continuing and strengthening our history of collaboration to help WHO in catalysing the scaling up and sustainability of effective, health innovations”. IFPMA organized an official side-event, in partnership with DITTA (Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare ICT, and Radiation Therapy Trade Association), “Better access for all with sustainable financing systems: The role of the private sector and new innovations to achieve UHC” to discuss the need for partnerships between the public and the private sectors in order to optimize the best use of innovative technologies and medicines that can increase access to better healthcare for all.

Pandemic preparedness and response efforts form an integral part of global health security. In its statement, IFPMA and its member influenza vaccine and antiviral manufacturers confirmed continued commitment to the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework our shared public health objectives to ensure that the world is better prepared to respond to the next influenza pandemic. IFPMA member companies have helped the WHO secure 405 million doses of influenza vaccine and 10 million doses of antivirals to be used in the event of an influenza pandemic. IFPMA organized a side event with WMA and IFRC – on “Health Security – 100 Years after the Spanish Flu Pandemic”.

Access to medicines and vaccines (shortage of medicines) and on Public health, innovation and intellectual property (GSPOA) were discussed and IFPMA delivered statements (Shortage, GSPOA). IFPMA notes the decision to task the WHO to prepare a 5-year roadmap to be presented to the Assembly in 2019 and looks forward to continuing its constructive engagement in a multistakeholder effort to address these issues and actively engaging in the consultations.

Both September 2018 United Nations High Level Meetings on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and tuberculosis were discussed. For NCDs, as progress remains slow, there were calls for increased political leadership and more action to prevent and control NCDs. Access Accelerated – a unique cross-industry collaboration that seeks to reduce barriers to prevention, treatment and care for NCDs – organized an event to share experiences and learnings from stakeholders implementing in different contexts to identify best practices to ensure effectiveness, reduce fragmentation and facilitate sustainability across all aspects of work to address NCDs.

The Assembly adopted a resolution that seeks to accelerate Members States actions to end TB. Dr Tedros insisted that BRICS countries should take a leadership role in the fight to end TB and underlined the importance of partnering with the private sector to advance R&D. IFPMA delivered two statements (NCDs, TB).

About the IFPMA:

IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry’s 2 million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health.

For further information, please contact:

Morgane De Pol

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

+ 41 22 338 32 00 / +41 79 962 11 95


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

Learn more

Media Contact

Elliot Dunster