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IFPMA Welcomes Dr. Brundtlands WHO-Industry Roundtable

Geneva, 14 May, 1998 -- In her acceptance speech to the 51st World Health Assembly, newly-elected Director General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland stressed the important role of industry in the promotion of health innovation and services. To forge a closer collaboration between WHO and the private sector, Dr. Brundtland pledged to "propose the creation of a WHO-industry roundtable and constructive and open relations with the private sector and industry." The global research-based pharmaceutical industry represented by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA), welcomes this initiative and will actively participate in collaborative efforts. IFPMA looks forward to working with Dr. Brundtland and the new WHO Executive Committee, member states and all interested parties.

IFPMA welcomes Dr. Brundtlands election as the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). As WHO is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its inception, the unanimous ratification of Dr. Brundtland to lead the WHO into the 21st century is especially significant. IFPMA fully supports the numerous management reforms and global health priorities outlined by Dr. Brundtland.

Dr. Brundtland presented a vision of a transformed, unified WHO able to meet the challenges of globalization and public health. At the top of her agenda is the improvement of the effectiveness and transparency of WHO. "WHO must be one: setting priorities as one, raising additional resources as one, speaking out as one," she stated. Dr. Brundtlands commitment to management reform and resource concentration in key areas will enhance WHOs standing in the international community and improve global public health.

Dr. Brundtland highlighted three basic requirements she believes essential to demonstrate WHOs leadership in world health: Forge stronger partnership with member states; reach out to its numerous stakeholders; reinforce its work with solid facts. Dr. Brundtland will establish a separate function within WHO on Evidence for Health Policy to utilize accurate statistics to reduce the burden of disease and increase the cost-effectiveness of intervention.

"The research-based pharmaceutical industry is committed to joint initiatives with WHO and member states to address the needs of under-served populations and patients in developing countries," commented IFPMA General Director Dr. Harvey Bale. IFPMA fully supports Dr. Brundtlands pledge to focus on a "new health sector wide approach" to combat malaria. Innovative pharmaceutical companies have a long history of working with WHO towards the eradication of diseases through drug donations for example ivermectin for river blindness and albendazole for lymphatic filariasis. IFPMA and its members actively support projects on other communicable and non-communicable diseases, such as malaria, polio, AIDS, and others.

However, innovation and future cooperation cannot be accomplished unless the benefits of research are protected under existing and future intellectual property protection agreements. This is why IPR protection is not the enemy of public health, but its strong supporter. The WTO TRIPS Agreement requires all countries to implement strong measures against trade in counterfeit products by the year 2000. Therefore, WHO and countries that the import of counterfeit medicines will have an additional ally in WTO.



Pharmaceutical Industry Reaffirms its Partnership Role

with the Geneva Organization

Geneva, 27 January, 1998 -- The global research-based pharmaceutical industry represented by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA), expresses its satisfaction at the nomination, by the Executive Board (EB), of Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland as the future Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), to be endorsed in May 1998 by the 51th World Health Assembly (WHA).

Former Norwegian Prime Minister, Dr. Grundtland has already demonstrated "skills and experience in national and international cooperative efforts which will certainly contribute to enhance WHO leadership and create a clear vision for the organization," declared Dr.†Harvey†Bale, Director General of IFPMA. WHO is facing real challenges going from the need to restore its finances, reform its constitution, modernize its management structure, reset its priorities to the development of new alliances with other international agencies.

At the occasion of this nomination, the global research-based industry reaffirms its commitment to help WHO to solve major public health problems around the world, by co-operative partnership involving the free donation of drugs (such as albendazole against lymphatic filariasis, or ivermectin against river blindness), by developing new therapies for tropical diseases, by expanding the level of vaccination in developing countries. There are a major series of pharmaceutical efforts to assist WHO in an Health For All Strategy

IFPMA hopes that it becomes increasingly realized soon that the industry is an ally with WHO and national governments in the fight against global disease, including factors such as the lack of adequate quality control, substandard and counterfeit medicines.

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Appointment of new IFPMA Director General

Dr Harvey E. Bale, Jr.

Geneva, 5 August 1997 - The President of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA), SeŠn Lance, announced today that IFPMA Member Associations had voted unanimously for the appointment of Dr. Harvey E. Bale Jr. as head of the Geneva-based Secretariat of the organization with the new title of Director General. He will take office in late October 1997 following the retirement of the present Head of the Secretariat, Executive Vice President Dr. Richard B. Arnold.

Dr. Bale is currently Senior Vice President and head of the international division of the US Association Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America - PhRMA (since 1989), having been previously with Hewlett Packard and for twelve years in government with the US Trade Representative. While with the USTR he was based for five years in Geneva. Dr. Bale has a BA degree from Temple University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland.

Mr. Lance said that under Harvey Bale's leadership he expected the Federation to increase further its international standing built up over the past years as representative of the research-based pharmaceutical industry throughout the world. Its role would evolve and be adapted to meet the challenges and opportunities which the industry would be facing in a rapidly changing healthcare environment over the next few years. In particular, IFPMA would continue to promote open trade practices, to foster conditions favourable to the development of new medicines and to seek achievement of high standards of operating practice through self-regulation.

Mr. Lance also paid tribute to the outstanding contribution made by Richard Arnold during his thirteen year tenure as Executive Vice President. He said that Dr. Arnold had been responsible for strengthening IFPMAs organisation and significantly enhancing its influence and standing during his period in office.

Created in 1968 as an non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA) represents the research-based pharmaceutical industry and other manufacturers of prescription medicines, worldwide. The members of IFPMA are national pharmaceutical industry associations in over 50 countries in both the industrialised and developing countries.

IFPMA is the main channel of communication between this sector of the industry and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as other international organisations that are concerned with health-related issues.


For further information contact:
Mr. Jean-FranÁois Gaulis at IFPMA
TEL: +41 (22) 340.12.00
FAX: +41 (22) 340 13 80
E-mail: jf.gaulis@ifpma.org

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