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World Cancer Day: R&D Pharmaceutical Industry Partnerships to Enhance Access to Cancer Care

Published 02-04-16

Submitted by International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

Connecting the dots of the cancer continuum of care.

Cancer is one of the greatest health challenges of our time, and a leading cause of death in every corner of the world. Within the next two decades it is expected we reach 22 million new cases of cancer each year, the majority of them in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Without the preventative measures, the disproportionate majority of mortality from cancer will also occur in LMICs, where there is limited availability of screening, early detection, and access to treatment.

The member companies and associations of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) endorse the efforts of the global health community to reduce incidences and death from cancer worldwide. Within our industry’s Framework of Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), IFPMA and its members are committed to supporting countries towards reaching the NCD targets of the World Health Organization (WHO), including the target of a 25% relative reduction in premature mortality from cancer and other NCDs by 2025.

In our industry’s first role as researchers and developers of medicines, IFPMA companies today work on over 3000 projects for cancer treatments. These innovative treatments come in addition to a legacy of medicines for cancer currently available in generic form. Since 1980, 83% of life expectancy gains in cancer are attributable to improved treatments.

While treatment remains a critical factor, addressing cancer requires recognition of its complexity and management throughout the whole continuum of care, including stages such as prevention, diagnosis and palliative care. As such, IFPMA members are engaged in a number of health partnerships with governments, academics, health workers and civil society to address barriers to cancer care in LMICs.

Visit the IFPMA Developing World Health Partnerships Directory to see health partnerships from the industry that work towards enhanced access to cancer care. The directory holds over 45 case-studies from partnerships that fight cancer, including photos, videos, and stories from people working on the projects or who have felt health partnerships change their lives.

Programs include a special awareness week for head and neck cancer in Russia, to increase access to quality screening for the disease, and wide-scale training programs for health workers from Eastern Europe to East Africa, to promote early diagnosis of cancer in their communities. Scaling up access to quality care for patients with cancer, our industry has partnered with academic groups and hospitals in LMICs to improve healthcare infrastructure, and develops access programs with ministries of health to improve availability of treatments.

Data is another crucial element in the fight against cancer. Therefore, pan-industry partnerships such as our work with PAHO Foundation on the Women’s Cancer Initiative look to improve the quality of completeness of cancer data and provide the local context for the roll-out of evidence-based cancer strategies.   

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations logo

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. 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.

Research-based pharmaceutical companies make a unique contribution to global health as innovators of life-saving and life-changing medicines and vaccines, which improved millions of lives around the world. Both IFPMA and its companies are involved in hundreds of partnerships, including the new Access Accelerated initiative, a partnership of over 20 biopharmaceutical companies developing innovative and sustainable solutions to improve access to non-communicable disease (NCDs) treatment and care in low- and middle income countries. Access Accelerated also partners with the World Bank and the Union of International Cancer Control to help address the full spectrum of access barriers to NCD medicines. These partnerships involve the discovery of treatments that threaten health security or unduly put a burden on low income countries, as well as support Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by expanding access to medicines and vaccines and strengthening health systems and in doing so, contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3 and SDG 17).

IFPMA hosts the Secretariat of the AMR Industry Alliance, a coalition of over 100 biotechnology, diagnostic, generics and research-based biopharmaceutical companies and trade associations that was formed to drive and measure industry progress to curb antimicrobial resistance. The AMR Industry Alliance ensures that signatories collectively deliver on the specific commitments made in the Industry Declaration on AMR and the Roadmap and measures progress made in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Other initiatives supported by IFPMA include: The African Global Health Leaders Fellowship and Fight the Fakes.

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