Health leaders gather at 26th IFPMA assembly

Published on: 31 October 2012


• Conference draws more than 200 public and private sector health leaders to discuss role and contributions of biopharmaceutical innovation

• Three corporate leaders outline industry’s commitment and call for a shared commitment to improving global health

Today a biennial health conference brings together public and private sector leaders for an open dialogue on how to strengthen the response to the most pressing global health challenges. Under the theme Innovating Together for Global Health, the meeting, hosted by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), focuses on how biopharmaceutical innovation addresses health challenges around the world, including diseases that disproportionally affect the poorer regions of the world. On this occasion, IFPMA leaders call on stakeholders for a shared commitment to promoting global health by supporting further innovation.

Over the past century, medical innovation has transformed the human experience by curing disease, diminishing suffering, and extending life spans. Innovation has helped stop polio, prevent measles, mumps, rubella and other ailments, increase cancer survival rates, and transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

“Yet some of our greatest challenges lie ahead with bugs resistant to antibiotics, neglected tropical diseases, and non-communicable diseases like cancer and Alzheimers,” said Eduardo Pisani, IFPMA Director General. “We need to expand the arsenal of preventative vaccines and treatments through innovation. In recent years, major inroads on key health issues were achieved through global cooperation. Today’s challenges demand this same level of cooperation.”

This is why at today’s conference more than 200 health leaders and policymakers will focus on bringing the value of today’s innovation to their populations and on overcoming obstacles to achieving further therapeutic breakthroughs.

Coinciding with this conference, the IFPMA leadership team – John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, Masafumi Nogimori, Chairman of Astellas, and Stefan Oschmann, CEO of Merck Serono – called for “A shared commitment to improving global health through innovation” in a joint statement. Highlighting innovative advances such as development of biotherapeutics, ‘personalized’ medicines, and breakthrough vaccines to prevent diseases, the three leaders also addressed challenges to further innovation. They emphasized that environments that enable innovation – through intellectual property protection and standardization of regulatory best practices across countries – are vital to further advances and can help medicines reach patients around the world more quickly and less expensively.

The full statement can be accessed here.

Geneva, 31 October 2012


IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry's 2 million employees research, develop and provide 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.


Abigail Jones