Vol. 21, No. 1
and Notices from Other Societies and Unions
WHO and Pharmaceutical Industry to Set Up Joint Working Group
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
researchbased pharmaceutical companies from countries in every WHO region.
This decision was made on 21 October 1998, after a four-hour
meeting organized at WHO in Geneva between Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland,
WHO's DirectorGeneral, 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., DirectorGeneral
of the IFPMA.