Press release 14 June 2010

UN General Assembly informed of R&D pharmaceutical industry’s substantial contributions to millennium development goals


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) today delivered a formal statement 1 to the United Nations General Assembly Hearings with NGOs, Civil Society and the Private Sector on the UN Millennium Development Goals. The IFPMA, the only industry body selected to make such a statement, outlined its members’ major contributions to the health-related UN MDGs, their observations on the lessons learnt from their wide range of programs to help improve health in developing countries, and recommendations for advancing progress in this area.

IFPMA Director General Eduardo Pisani said: “The scale of the challenge posed by the UN MDGs is large. We can only hope to achieve them through global partnerships, with contributions from countries of all levels of economic development, and the active participation of governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, philanthropic groups and the private sector. The R&D- based pharmaceutical industry contributes to global health through its normal business activity of developing new medicines, but it also makes additional contributions to improving developing country health, through an extensive range of not-for-profit and philanthropic partnership programs to improve access to health care, strengthen health care capacity and develop new medicines for diseases of the developing world.”

From the inception of the MDGs in 2000 to their mid-point at the end of 2007, IFPMA member companies made available enough philanthropic assistance to reach 1.75 billion people in developing countries, with treatments for patients, training for health professionals and health education for populations at risk. The value of this assistance was USD 9.2 billion2. In 2005 alone, the industry’s philanthropic assistance amounted to some USD 1.5 billion – equivalent to 11% of total OECD health development aid.

The 2010 edition of the IFPMA’s Developing World Health Partnerships Directory 3 shows that the research-based pharmaceutical industry now has a total of 213 developing world health partnership programs, up from 36 in 2003. These provide substantial support for the health-related MDGs 4 (children’s health), 5 (women’s health), 6 (infectious diseases, notably HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) and 8 (partnerships), including the specific target 8e, calling for “cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, to provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries”. This cooperation covers medicines for many illnesses, including ones not covered by the MDGs, such as non-communicable diseases.

IFPMA members are also working in partnerships to create new medicines for diseases of the developing world. Collectively, the industry is the third largest funding entity of this area of R&D, after the US Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the number of medicine R&D projects undertaken by member companies for the top ten developing world diseases has grown from 32 in 2005 to 75 in 20094.

New York, 14 June 2010



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