Influenza pandemic preparedness. Influenza pandemic preparedness, including access to vaccines for developing nations, is a crucial issue in global public
health and was one of the topics addressed by the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of WHO, which met in May
2011, in Geneva. At the meeting, the World Health Assembly agreed to the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) framework.
IFPMA contributed to the deliberations of the WHO Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of Member States on PIP, which was tasked
with improving the global system for responding to future influenza pandemics. The OEWG adopted an agreement in April 2011
for a PIP Framework, which was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May.
IFPMA supported the OEWG's plan, in particular for addressing key challenges, such as increasing the capacity of vaccine production
and enabling access in developing countries. IFPMA also supports the WHO's financial parameters for the industry for the WHO
Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN).
The OEWG recommendation includes specific requirements for users of the GISN to ensure that vaccines and antivirals are made
available to developing countries in the event of a future pandemic. During the most recent H1N1 pandemic, IFPMA vaccine manufacturers
committed 166 million doses to meet the WHO target of 200 million vaccine doses for developing countries, according to IFPMA.
In commenting on the PIP framework, IFPMA recognized the importance of local production of vaccines and antivirals in pandemic
preparedness and said it would continue to explore local production, pointing to investment made by member companies in several
countries, including Mexico, Brazil, China, Indonesia, and Thailand. During the OEWG/PIP consultations, individual IFPMA members
confirmed that they also were willing to voluntarily undertake a selection of actions in the event of a future pandemic, including
production-capacity expansion and access to reverse-genetics technology, dependent upon skills, knowledge, financial management,
public-health policy, and national regulation.
Counterfeit drugs. Counterfeit drugs in the developing world are a large public health concern and represent a key strategic focus for IFPMA.
In 2010, 1735 incidents of fake medicines were reported by the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit
organization, a nearly 10% increase compared with the prior two years. One third of these cases reached licensed wholesale
distributors and/or pharmacies in 37 different countries.
In 2010, IFPMA partnered with its member association, PReMA, the national pharmaceutical industry association in Thailand,
the International Association of Patients Organization, and the US Pharmacopeia to raise patient awareness about the health
risks imposed by counterfeit medicines in Southeast Asia. IFPMA also chairs the working group on anticounterfeiting technologies
of the International Medical Products AntiCounterfeiting Task Force (IMPACT). WHO established IMPACT in 2006 as the organization's
drug anticounterfeiting group.
IFPMA has additional initiatives underway in the areas of neglected tropical diseases and antimicrobial resistance. Pisani
emphasizes that the pharmaceutical industry's participation in solving global health concerns is part of a larger collaborative,
multistakeholder approach. In that effort, he says transparency, cooperation, and trust are key. "We have to walk the talk,"
he concludes, underscoring not only the industry's participation in the dialogue on global health concerns, but its specific
involvement in solutions.