IFPMA statement under WHA 66 agenda item 16.1 on Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP)
Delivered by Laetitia Bigger, Senior Manager, Vaccines Policy
25 May 2013
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important discussion. IFPMA represents leading research-based pharmaceutical companies as well as national and regional industry associations across the world.
Mr. Chairman, IFPMA highly commends WHO’s continued leadership and Member States’ efforts on the GVAP implementation. Disease prevention throughout the life course is a priority for individuals, families, communities, governments, and is essential to improve worldwide public health. It is estimated that coverage targets and sustained use of ten vaccines in 94 countries during the next decade would avert 26 million deaths and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare savings.
Our industry has consistently engaged for many decades in the research and development of highly efficacious vaccines to prevent diseases initially believed to be non-preventable. We have also worked closely with GAVI partners to improve the access to vaccines and the quality of immunization services.
Today, the global health community has at its disposal the means to reduce the burden of cervical cancer, pneumonia, meningitis and rotavirus diseases. Over 200 vaccines are in development, targeting 50 preventable-diseases including neglected tropical diseases such as dengue, cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Looking ahead, the success of the GVAP requires a holistic approach to vaccine access that balances considerations of availability and continuity of supply; efficient management of the total cost of immunization in countries; development of adapted and safe products; and maintenance of R&D incentives to foster innovation of new vaccines that satisfy unmet medical needs from developing countries.
Greater recognition by policymakers and communities of the broader socio-economic value of vaccination, beyond vaccine affordability and individual antigen disease burden, would be also an important step towards investing in immunization.
Likewise, governments should produce accurate information to ensure individuals and communities are aware and supportive of the benefits of immunization.
Colleagues, we stand ready to offer our continued support as a partner to fully achieve the GVAP goals.