IFPMA Statement at mhGAP Forum, Geneva, October 7, 2013
Delivered by Mario Ottiglio, Director, Global Health Policy & Public Affairs
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this leading discussion today. IFPMA represents leading research-based pharmaceutical companies as well as national and regional industry associations worldwide.
IFPMA highly commends the WHO Secretariat for its vision and resolute leadership in addressing mental health. The Mental Health Global Action Plan captures years of hard work and offers a roadmap to tackle a global health priority. Mental and neurological disorders—MNDs—go too often silent and yet exert a paramount toll on individuals, societies, and the economy.
Our industry is actively engaged in the fight against mental & neurological disorders. We have more than 200 compounds in research and development, and several on-the-ground partnerships to help patients. A concerted approach to reprioritize brain research to match the burden from MNDs is clearly needed. Depression alone is expected by WHO to be by 2030—in 17 years only—the largest cause of disease burden worldwide.
We would like to share with you an IFPMA initiative in support of the 3rd objective under the mental health action plan which focuses on multisectoral action.
We launched last May the “Do You Mind?” campaign, an interactive website where people can explore how different stakeholders—whether one is a policymaker, a researcher, a patient, or a relative of someone with an MND—can play her part in addressing these disorders. The campaign’s interactive questions and animations show the role that different parts of society can play to fight brain disorders and improve mental health. We hope this campaign will help addressing information gaps and help overcome stigma, including self-stigma.
Addressing MNDs requires commitment of everyone. The bio-psycho-social factors responsible for MNDs ask us to think—and act—in collaboration. We look forward to galvanizing support, awareness, and action from different stakeholders to identify solutions that improve the health of people globally.