International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) describes itself as a "non-profit, non-governmental organization representing industry associations from both developed and developing countries". [1] It is one of the main trade groups lobbying to establish 'public-private partnerships' between the private pharmaceutical industry and public health initiatives. [2]

History and mission

The IFPMA was created in 1968 in order to represent associations of international worldwide research-based pharmaceutical industry and manufacturers of prescribed medicines. The conditions for membership of the Federation include to good manufacturing practices and acceptance of the "IFPMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices". In November 2004, the IFPMA decided to make membership available to pharmaceutical companies, as long as these companies fulfil the conditions implied by the Federation’s objectives and mission. [3]

The Federation has established close connections with the United Nations as well as a number of international organisations. Some of them are:



From the IFPMA website:

"The objectives of the Federation, as set out in the Article 2 of the IFPMA Statutes are:

  • to encourage a global policy environment that is conducive to innovation in medicine, both therapeutic and preventative, for the benefit of patients around the world;
  • to promote and support principles of ethical conduct and practices voluntarily agreed upon as exemplified by the IFPMA Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices;
  • to promote and support the adoption of high standards of manufacturing practices and quality assurance for pharmaceutical products;
  • to contribute industry expertise and foster collaborative relationships and partnerships with international organizations, national institutions, governments and non-governmental organizations that are dedicated to the improvement of public health, especially in developing and emerging countries;
  • to assure regular contact and experience-sharing and coordinate the efforts of its members towards the realisation of the above objectives." [5]

The IFPMA is also a supporter of strong patent and intellectual property rights. [6]

Why are 'public-private partnerships' problematic?

For Gill Walt, the reason for the "shift towards public-private partnerships on health is the result of increased global integration due to:

  • The scope and pace of goods moving across borders
  • The lack of geographical boundaries for infectious diseases
  • The increased possibility for rapid communication (Internet)
  • The spread of ideas
  • World-wide products and marketing" [7]

Judith Richter says “one has to look at today's public-private ventures in light of the political developments of the past thirty years. In her presentation, she highlighted the need to analyse so-called public-private partnerships also as part of a sophisticated corporate issues management plan aimed at advancing the political and economic agenda of transnational (TNC) corporations. An unquestioning rush on the part of many governments, UN agencies and some NGOs to join such 'partnerships' may ultimately damage public interests, she argues.” [8]

There are essential questions that have to be addressed in the discourse on ‘public-private partnerships’ (PPP)


“The PPP discourse also does not mention that those transnational corporations that are offering donations to public institutions are often the very same corporations that have successfully lobbied for global tax restructuring. This has resulted in a redistribution of the world's wealth from the poor to the rich and the erosion of states' capacities to provide for public services.” [9]

Furthermore, attention has to be paid to the power and influence that the money involved in PPPs buys. “How much of a voice does the World Health Organization have in setting priorities for world health with its budget of approximately US$1 billion, when the Global Alliance on Vaccines Initiative (GAVI) has US$1 billion just for vaccines and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spending well over US$6 billion on infectious diseases?” [10]


Why are companies interested in establishing ‘partnerships’ with public services? “We cannot escape the fact that all corporations have a fiduciary (legal) duty to maximise profit for their shareholders. No matter what the rhetoric, and the often good intentions of individuals working within corporations, there has to be a financial payoff-either in the short or long-term.” [11]

“Not only corporate public relations professionals but also institutions such as the World Bank have advised corporate managers to engage in 'partnerships' with reputable institutions and individuals in order to 'build trust'. [...] Close association with the UN and NGOs can, for example, enhance the reputation of corporations through 'image transfer', irrespective of their actual practices. A good image can be of advantage in a competitive market. It is also a political resource. Corporations want to be seen as 'good corporate citizens'. They know that this might well translate into enhanced political legitimacy and influence.” [12]

The term itself

In most cases ‘partnership’ is simply a euphemism for 'strategic sponsorship' or lobby activities. What, then, is sponsorship? “It is not a philanthropic gift. It is a commercial deal. Sponsorship is a payment by a business firm for the purpose of promoting its name, products or services.” [13]

“In fact, many of the interactions, which are currently promoted as public-private partnerships, are not new. What is new is the name and the way in which governments, UN agencies and NGOs are rushing into them. What is also new is the extent to which safeguards for public interest-based policy-making and scientific standard-setting are being ignored.” [14]

“Little discussed is a type of public-for-profit sector interaction which was hitherto seen as problematic in democratic societies: a new development in the name of 'partnership' is the ready acceptance of corporate participation in public policy-making, respectively UN attendance of corporate fora. […] Business leaders have also used their close relationship with the UN to press for a distinction between 'reasonable' and 'confrontational' NGOs. They have questioned the public funding of those NGOs which business labels as confrontational. The second problem is that the term 'partnership' is heavily value-laden. It gives the impression of equality and suggests that all sides are working for a joint goal. The positive connotation of public-private partnerships is no oversight. Indeed, two other value-laden terms are usually cited as main criteria for engaging in 'partnerships' with corporations and their business associations, namely 'trust' and 'mutual benefits'. Both the name and these criteria interfere with unprejudiced evaluations of whether or not these interactions are indeed beneficial for society. The measuring stick for engaging with corporations must remain the contribution of the venture to the promotion of public interests. It cannot be a question of trading some public interests against profit for the corporate participant.” [15]


Risks so far remain “underexplored. […] The general trend towards PPPs can […] lead to censorship by and self-censorship within the UN, government or NGO counterpart and an overly optimistic depiction of transnational corporations' actual practices. It can result in 'institutional capture' in which the non-corporate partner is instrumentalised for a company's or business association's aims. Public-private partnerships risk weakening the key drivers of corporate 'responsibility', namely binding regulation, collective bargaining and more radical forms of social activism.” [16]


IFPMA President

In 2008...

Formerly Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Novartis International AG

IFPMA Vice Presidents

In 2008...

Formerly Dr. Henry A. McKinnell, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pfizer Inc. & Haruo Naito, President and Chief Executive Officer Eisai Co. Ltd.

Council members

in 2008[2]...




In 2008[3]




Members are national or regional pharmaceutical industry associations in more than 60 countries and the following “research-based pharmaceutical, biotech, and vaccine companies”: In 2008[4]...



PR & Lobbying

In 2008, the IFPMA is listed as a past or current member of The Gorlin Group[5]

External links


  1. International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Council Accessed 11th March 2008
  2. International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Council Accessed 11th March 2008
  3. International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Secretariate Accessed 11th March 2008
  4. International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Members Accessed 11th March 2008
  5. The Gorlin Group Clients Accessed 20th March 2008