Statement 7 February 2020

WHO EB 146 Agenda Item 14: Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property


Geneva, 7 February, 2020: This statement is made by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, supported by the International Council of Biotechnology Associations.

IFPMA and ICBA would like to thank the WHO secretariat for its efforts to monitor progress on the overall implementation of the GSPA-PHI. The innovative biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries engaged constructively in the development of the GSPA-PHI and believes that it reflects a carefully negotiated balance.

Industry is committed to playing its part. Multinational pharmaceutical companies invested $ 598 m and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms contributed $96 m in neglected diseases R&D in 2018. While global funding for the WHO NTDs has remained fairly flat over the last decade, industry investment has steadily increased over the course of the last 12 years, increasing fivefold since 2007[1].

To advance this vital work, we encourage the WHO to ensure that its work on intellectual property recognizes the importance of strong IP rights to the development of – and patient access to – medical products. Such work should be practical and prioritized, and not based on recommendations inconsistent with the scope and objectives of the GSPA-PHI.

Several Expert Review Panel recommendations on IP management are not consistent with the GSPA-PHI, including those that would weaken the global R&D incentives framework, without improving access in developing countries. As these recommendations are outside the scope of the GSPA-PHI, they should not be included in the Implementation Plan.

Our health care industries stand ready to partner with other stakeholders to achieve the goals of the GSPA-PHI and we thank the WHO Secretariat for its efforts.

[1] Data from G-Finder 2019


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