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Industry pledges action on global NCD rise

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations has said the industry plans to address the global rise of non-communicable diseases as the UN Summit on NCDs is held in New York

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has said the industry plans to address the rise of non-communicable disease (NCDs), such as diabetes and cancer, in developing nations.

The commitment comes as the United Nations (UN) holds its summit in New York to discuss how to prevent and control these chronic conditions. Nine million deaths in people under 60 are attributed to them each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Results of an independent policy research programme were released by the IFPMA, with data demonstrating that effective first-line NCD medicines exist and are available in generic form, but, in many instances, these medicines are still failing to reach many people living in the developing world.

Four priorities were identified for the industry in tackling the issue of NCDs, including improving patient adherence and improving access to primary care.

The removal of regulatory restrictions that hamper the availability of medicines in developing countries and overcoming issues such as large mark-ups and counterfeit products in poor and remote areas were also named by the IFPMA.

David Brennan, CEO AstraZeneca and president of the IFPMA said: "There is no silver bullet solution because the scale of the problem is so complex. This underscores the importance of partnership to understand what the most significant problems are and to work together to solve them."

According to the WHO, if intervention efforts remain static and rates of NCDs continue to increase as populations grow and age, the economic cost to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) from NCDs is estimated to surpass US$ 7trn over the period 2011-2025. This is an average increase of nearly $500 billion per year - equivalent to around four per cent of these countries' current annual output.

Novo Nordisk chief medical officer, Alan C Moses, spoke to PMLiVE last week at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting, where he described the need to tackle the global "health disaster" of diabetes ahead of the UN Summit.

 

Follow the UN Summit live via webstream:

20th September 2011

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