Delivered by Cyntia Genolet, Senior Manager Global Health Policy, IFPMA
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important discussion today. IFPMA represents leading research-based pharmaceutical companies as well as national and regional industry associations across the world, including three in Africa. IFPMA notes the report on the Status of implementation of the four time-bound commitments on noncommunicable diseases in the Africa region.
We echo the WHO’s concerns that most Member States have made little or no progress towards these four commitments, particularly as one identified reason is insufficient multi-sectorial NCD response.
We agree with the majority of the proposed actions, specifically the transformation and strengthening of health systems to accelerate the prevention and control of NCDs through people-centred primary health care and universal health coverage. We support the conclusion that implementation of the WHO best buys and strategies for financing NCDs remain two essential areas where significant improvements from Member States and the international community are still required.
Integrated strategies that include prevention, treatment and care are crucial. As outlined in the report, meaningful progress and sustainable solutions can only be found in a multi-stakeholders approach and we call for recognition of the value that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry brings.
We have been playing a significant role in addressing NCDs for many years through a large number of access programs and collaborations with the public sector. As an industry, we are committed to continue to work with all stakeholders towards achieving SDG 3.4 and 17 by engaging in partnerships to contribute to WHO and Member States’ Health objectives, including to achieve UHC.
Today our industry has over 210 active health partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa, spanning 46 countries, which are involving innovative biopharmaceutical companies. These partnerships represent over two thirds of all health partnerships worldwide.
Our health partnerships seek more equitable, inclusive and sustainable development towards UHC, by increasing availability of treatment, prevention of the spread of disease, addressing health system infrastructure and capacity building as well as R&D partnerships to develop new treatments.
With the Access Accelerated initiative, 24 innovation-based biopharmaceutical companies have raised collaboration to an unprecedented level by partnering with countries, civil society, other non-pharmaceutical companies, academia, the WB and NGOs to drive cross-sectorial dialogue, support capacity building and to drive implementation of action plans.
Given the lack of sufficient progress and the scale of the health problem that NCDs poses, there is an urgent need to work together and decisively on NCDs. As a committed stakeholder in the fight against NCDs, we would be keen to develop bold and concrete collaborations with WHO on prevention and control of NCDs.