Research-based pharmaceutical industry contributes to discussions on key global health issues at World Health Assembly

Published on: 28 May 2013
  • International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations provided expert commentary on non-communicable diseases, mental and neurological disorders, R&D for diseases of the developing world, counterfeit medicines, vaccines, and neglected tropical diseases

Geneva, 28 May 2013, As a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) contributed to discussions at the 66th World Health Assembly (WHA). The IFPMA followed with particular interest discussions and decisions made by Member States related to non-communicable diseases, mental and neurological disorders, R&D for diseases of the developing world, counterfeit medicines, global vaccine action plan, and neglected tropical diseases. In line with the WHO principles governing relations with NGOs, the IFPMA contributed expert commentary to these important global health discussions.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – IFPMA welcomes WHO’s stewardship in addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The Global Action Plan is a focused and pragmatic document which recognizes the size of the challenge, identifies barriers that must be overcome, and proposes sounds approaches. To achieve significant impact on NCDs, multi-stakeholder strategies are required at the global, regional and national levels. These should be fully integrated into healthcare systems and extend beyond the traditional health sector. See the full IFPMA statement at NCDs.

Mental and neurological disorders (MNDs) – IFPMA supports the Mental Health Global Action Plan discussed at the WHA. With annual MND cases estimated at 700 million and accounting for 30 percent of the global NCD burden, MNDs are more than just a health issue; they should be a societal priority involving decision makers from education, employment, science, government and other spheres. To bring these actors together to reduce suffering from MNDs, IFPMA launched the ‘Do You Mind? campaign ( See the full IFPMA statement at MNDs.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – WHO’s continued leadership is fundamental to winning the fight against NTDs and to improving the lives of people around the world. The research-based pharmaceutical industry works to stop NTDs by researching and developing medicines, strengthening health systems, and increasing access to treatments through medicine donation programs – several of which date back to decades. In 2012, the industry announced a major commitment to donate 14 billion treatments this decade to control or eliminate nine major NTDs responsible for the 90% of the global burden and currently leads 132 R&D projects for NTDs. See the full IFPMA statement at NTDs.

Global Vaccines Action Plan (GVAP) – To bring the disease-preventing benefits of vaccines to millions of people, a holistic approach to vaccine access is needed. This should balance considerations of availability and continuity of supply; efficient management of the total cost of immunization in countries; development of adapted and safe products; and incentives to foster innovation of vaccines that satisfy unmet medical needs in developing countries. See the full IFPMA statement at GVAP.

Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) on Research and Development – With the research-based pharmaceutical industry leading 132 R&D projects for NTDs, IFPMA welcomes a systematic and standardized global review of both unmet needs for type II (HIV, malaria, TB) and III (NTDs) diseases and supports identifying how current efforts can be leveraged to achieve progress on diseases disproportionately affecting the developing world, R&D flows and research capacity. See the full IFPMA statement at R&D.

Substandard / spurious / falsely-labelled / falsified / counterfeit medicines – Counterfeit medicines are a crime against patients and should be addressed by the global health community with the same vigor as any other health threat. The new mechanism on SSFFC is instrumental to making concrete efforts to kick start a new global agenda that puts patient safety at its core. See the full IFPMA statement at SSFFC.



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