VIENNA, 24 November 2010 – Ways of better fostering local pharmaceutical industries in developing countries to produce essential generic drugs were discussed at a side event that took place today at UNIDO’s Industrial Development Board (IDB).
The IDB reviews the implementation of the Organization’s work programme, regular and operational budgets, and makes recommendations to the General Conference on policy matters.
The UNIDO project on “Strengthening the local production of essential generic drugs in developing countries,” financed by Germany, was also in focus. The project aims to help expand and upgrade small and medium enterprises in a number of developing and least developed countries, mainly in Africa and in Asia, to locally manufacture essential generic drugs.
“Millions of people in Africa die each year from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. Many deaths could be prevented with timely access to appropriate and affordable medicines,” said UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, while signing a cooperation agreement with Germany earlier this month.
The high-level political debate also focused on bridging public health and industrial development, and maintaining quality standards of generic drugs in developing countries. Private sector representatives from developed and developing countries shared their experience.
The event provided an outlook on possible future UNIDO activities to build local manufacturing capacities for pharmaceutical products, as well as on the Organization’s facilitating role in promoting access to medicines.
Participants noted that since health-related matters are key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), further developing local manufacturing would have a positive impact for developing countries, and add to economic growth.
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