Submitted by International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations
The IAEA and IFPMA announced today that they will join forces in the area of comprehensive cancer control. This new collaboration is centered on helping to ensure cancer is a health priority at national and global levels, and supporting stronger health system capacities to ensure overall cancer information and care is available in low and middle income countries (LMICs).
This collaboration will help the IAEA’ engage in strategic public-private partnerships to support and raise funds for the implementation of comprehensive cancer control projects and implement communication and awareness raising strategies for resource mobilization.
The two organizations will also collaborate on training and education of the health workforce in the area of comprehensive cancer control to enhance investments in healthcare solutions.
IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy Director, Nelly Enwerem-Bromson, said: “Building skills within the health workforce is vital in order to provide adequate, quality cancer care, This partnership helps us to create vital bridges with the private sector to boost life-saving investments in cancer control for most affected countries”.
Cancer has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Globally, it kills more than 8.2 million people every year. The majority of deaths occur in LMICs, and the projections indicate that in these countries more than 9 million people are expected to lose their battle with cancer annually by 2030. In addition to demographic and lifestyle changes, LMICs suffer from a poor or non-existent cancer control infrastructure as well as a shortage of properly trained human resources.
Initial collaborative efforts will be in the area of training and education and will also leverage additional contributions to the initiative from Bristol-Myers Squibb. The initiative will help strengthen the Virtual University for Cancer Control (VUCCnet) – a programme that offers countries customized, accessible, high-quality, and freely available training across all stages of the cancer care continuum. VUCCnet envisages courses designed to upgrade skills of working professionals and master’s level courses complementing institutional student learning. VUCCnet is in the process of further curriculum development and is planned to be rolled out in 33 sub-Saharan African countries following a successful pilot phase.
"We are delighted to support the IAEA through PACT in strengthening cancer control knowledge and training capacity in LMICs", said Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA. He added: “Through focused programs like the VUCCnet, we help catalyze new partnerships and advance the resources and knowledge needed to enable countries to reverse the increasing burden of NCDs”.
The collaboration promotes comprehensive cancer control as a unique approach to fight cancer. Both organizations will leverage respective know-how gained by existing initiatives such as the “IAEA-IARC-WHO project on comprehensive cancer control” aimed to increase capacity of health systems in selected countries through establishing roadmaps for implementation of national cancer control priorities, capacity development of health workforce and support in resource mobilization efforts of IAEA Member States.
In addition, the recently launched “Access Accelerated”, a first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder collaboration focused on improving NCD care, involves 22 biopharmaceutical companies and works with partners such as the World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to help overcome a variety of access barriers to NCD medicines in LMICs. Access Accelerated supports multi-stakeholder dialogue and works to improve NCD prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
About the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)
The IAEA has worked for over 40 years supporting countries in the use of nuclear techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases. The Agency’s Programme of Action for Cancer Treatment (PACT) was established in 2005 to focus efforts on fighting the growing cancer crisis in the developing world. PACT works to improve IAEA Member States’ capacities to address the growing cancer burden through the integration of radiotherapy technologies within a comprehensive national cancer control programme and builds strong strategic partnerships, particularly with the World Health Organization and other international organizations, to provide equitable, affordable and quality access to cancer care for all cancer patients to the highest standards.
About the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (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. IFPMA advocates policies and practices that encourage the discovery of and access to life-saving and life-enhancing medicines and vaccines, for people everywhere.
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.