WHO EB 140, Item 10.2, Draft global action plan on the public health response to dementia

Published on: 30 January 2017

Delivered by Hiroko Nishimoto, JPMA Liaison Executive, IFPMA

Thank you on behalf of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) for the opportunity to provide our perspective on dementia. 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 dementia. We applaud WHO for taking such an important step towards developing a global action plan which calls for all stakeholders, including the private sector, to tackle the dementia crisis.

We support the 7 action areas in the plan, especially the need to advance research and innovation as a key contribution to help fight this syndrome. Drug development for dementia is highly challenging due to lower success rates, longer development times, and difficulties in recruitment of trial participants. Pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in making much-needed scientific advancements but more collaborative national and international dementia research is needed. We call upon WHO to push for a significant upscaling of research investment, to help incentivize research, and accelerate the development of new therapies and diagnostics for dementia. We ask WHO to support countries in finding sustainable financing solutions at the domestic, external and international levels to boost innovation within the projected timeframe.

We also would like to raise a question on Target 7 on research and innovation in the action plan. The target is to double the output of global research on dementia between 2017 and 2025 and its indicator as the number of published articles on dementia research. It is questionable whether the proposed target and indicator is sufficient to foster and further accelerate research and innovative health technologies to tackle this global health challenge.

Thank you.