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Global alliances

Big Pharma has a seat at the table

by Hedwig Diekwisch

In brief

Pharma multinationals have a seat at the table in trans-regional alliances against non-communicable diseases.

Pharma multinationals have a seat at the table in trans-regional alliances against non-communicable diseases.

In recent years, trans-regional alliances have formed to fight non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

These include, for example, the NCD Alliance (see article in D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2018/02, p. 4), whose membership currently comprises 2,000 civil-society groups from 170 countries, as well as international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private-sector companies.

The role of the Alliance’s consulting group seems problematic, however. It can:

  • propose new goals for the NCD agenda,
  • monitor progress and
  • offer strategic advice on global campaigns.

Actors can become an active part of the consulting group by making a financial contribution to the Alliance.

The 16-head consulting group of the NCD Alliance currently includes representatives from five pharma multinationals: Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis Foundation, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. All five manufacture medications for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. There is reason to fear that these companies will drive policy exclusively in the direction of drug-based solutions rather than tackle the root causes of the NCD “epidemic”.

The Access Accelerated Initiative (AAI) was founded in Davos in 2017. It too also declared its mission to be the prevention and treatment of NCDs. It was brought into being by biopharmaceutical companies. Information about how the organisation is structured and how it operates cannot be found on its website. However, secretariat services have been provided by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA). With the exception of the World Bank, multilateral organisations are not involved. National governments are not involved either. (hd)


NCD Alliance:

Access Accelerated Initiative:

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