IFPMA: More Collaboration is Critical to Future Global Health Progress

May 25, 2018

A report released by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) this week traces the pioneering collaborative role the research-based biopharmaceutical industry has played in global health progress over the past 50 years, but adds that even greater collaboration is needed to sustain and enhance this success.   The industry joined the earliest global health partnerships such as, in the 1970s, the Expanded Program on Immunization and, in the 1980s, the polio eradication and smallpox initiatives. These have been followed by partnerships as diverse as DNDi, MMV, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, MPP, and, more recently, CEPI and Access Accelerated. “While the biopharmaceutical industry has been a key player in this progress, none of it would have been accomplished without partnerships. From patient advocates to our biotech and academic partners to individual governments, innovation is only as impactful as the partnerships that support it,” said Ian Read, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer and IFPMA President.   Partnerships are now the norm and the Sustainable Developments Goals serve to galvanize greater collaboration to confront new and remaining challenges as many people still lack access to essential health services, such as family planning, child immunization, antiretroviral therapy to combat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis treatment, clean water and sanitation. Health systems struggle to respond effectively to burgeoning rates of non-communicable diseases; too many people still die prematurely from preventable diseases.   IFPMA Director General, Thomas Cueni, noted however that “much more needs to be done to bring the fruits of our innovation to all”. He went on: “The research-based biopharmaceutical industry... will continue to evolve, learn and pioneer ways to do more to reach all patients. To do this we’ll need partnerships of all kinds to take on the challenges of Universal Health coverage (UHC). We need to continue to build bridges between key actors across the health system. More dialogue and action are musts”.   Click here to see the IFPMA report, “50 Years of Global Health Progress”.