The biopharmaceutical industry believes the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines (HLP) lent an unprecedented opportunity to address critical issues affecting the ability of millions of people in receiving the medicines and vaccines they need. Many of the HLP recommendations ignore the most common issues that hamper access to medicines. As such, the report does not provide a sound basis for meaningful progress. The biopharmaceutical industry continues to support the existing platforms within the United Nations system that seek to improve access to medicines.
The environment into which new medicines are released is complex and solutions will be found in patient-centric and systemic approaches, political commitment, and good governance. Key issues to address are financing for health, improvements in health infrastructures, and enhancement of healthcare worker capacity and patients’ literacy. The majority of the HLP recommendations fail to recognize these complexities as well as the many existing and innovative efforts already taking place to advance access to care in the last two decades. In addition, the report seems to take a reductive approach to the facts around the pharmaceutical research and development model, carrying the potential of unintended consequences on spurring future medical progress.
“Access to medicines is at the center of everything the innovative biopharmaceutical industry does. The report fails to address the genuine barriers to access that so many people around the world need to overcome every day” – says Eduardo Pisani, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). He adds: “The HLP took a very narrow focus and ignored the full range of variables influencing access to medicines. We need to build on what works, we need inclusive solutions that bring the global health community as a whole closer to patients, addressing what matters to them.”
In its submissions to the HLP, the biopharmaceutical industry provided evidence on the value of intellectual property for access to medicines, as well as workable solutions to create improved access to medicines. Addressing these real and most common barriers, in the pursuit of universal health coverage, requires collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, which are both workable in the long term and practically implementable.
Nearly every important medicine of the last century-and-a-half — including antibiotics, vaccines, HIV and HCV treatments, cancer and cardiovascular medicines — owes its existence to the R&D activities of the biopharmaceutical industry. Biopharmaceutical innovators and the millions of committed men and women who work in the field welcome constructive and collaborative discussions on health technology and access to care. They are to partnering to find solutions that will bring better health care to all people around the world, sharing the same goal of achieving healthy lives for all, under UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.
About the IFPMA:
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.
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Last updated on: 14/09/2016
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