Disease plan is drawn upJuly 2011
Pharmaceuticals researchers have introduced a plan of action to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The research-based sector of the pharmaceuticals industry has created a ten-point framework to prevent conditions such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the developing world, which it says are a threat to public and private finances worldwide, as well as public health.
The framework, jointly drawn up by members of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), covers issues ranging from access and affordability to prevention and health education. The plans are allied to the World Health Organization’s Action Plan on NCDs, and have been presented to the United Nations.
The aim, says the IFPMA, is that the framework would be a springboard for research companies ‘to partner with the people on the ground, governments and the WHO (World Health Organization) to find ways to address prevention, care and treatment for NCDs in the developing world’.
NCDs are the leading cause of death worldwide, and are projected to increase by 15 per cent during the next decade. Unlike infectious diseases, which need immediate access to medicine, there are a number of ways of combating the spread and effect of NCDs, particularly prevention methods. Half the deaths caused by NCDs are estimated to be preventable.
Pharmaceuticals researchers see themselves as ideally placed to combat NCDs by their role in the research and development of innovative medicines and preventive care.
Eduardo Pisani, the IFPMA director-general, said: ‘This NCD Framework for Action represents a paradigm shift for the research-based pharmaceutical industry. It puts our industry’s collective global health responsibilities firmly at the forefront of how we see our role in the global health community.
‘Let’s be clear. It is not about altruism, but rather about revolutionising our relationship to others. Times are tough for governments, business and patients. In order to tackle the rise of NCDs, and stay the course, we need to look at sustainable new approaches to global health which have prevention at its core.’
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