Press Release WHO/75
22 October 1998
WHO AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TO SET UP JOINT WORKING GROUP
An estimated 100 million People Worldwide Could Benefit
With one third of the world population deprived of easy access to the most essential drugs and vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the pharmaceutical industry decided to set up a joint working group that will analyse the situation and make recommendations to overcome existing bottlenecks.
The group will be formed and start its work in the immediate future. Its composition will be agreed in consultation with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (IFPMA) which currently represents over 50 national associations of research-based pharmaceutical companies from countries in every WHO region.
This decision was taken on 21 October after a four-hour meeting organized at WHO in Geneva between Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO's Director-General who initiated the meeting, and ten senior representatives of the pharmaceutical industry selected by the IFPMA.
"The decision we have taken is a first step to benefit an estimated 100 million people worldwide through improved cooperation between the public and private sectors. I am looking forward to further development in this area," stated Dr Brundtland.
"We in the pharmaceutical industry are pleased to see changes in the renewed WHO, changes that could potentially make everybody a winner. It is up to all of us now to translate this potential into actions," commented Dr Harvey E. Bale, Jr., Director-General of the IFPMA.
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