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E-DRUG: World Bank - IFPMA fellowship

Dear E-drug members,

We are sending you a copy of a letter we sent to the World Bank to
object to the establishment of a World Bank - IFPMA Fellowship. We are
very concerned about the consequences of having a representative of
the multinational pharmaceutical industry working in the World Bank's
Human Development Department: "assisting the Bank and its borrowers on
the development , implementation and evaluation of health sector
projects containing pharmaceutical components and undertaking
appropriate policy and analytical work".

We ask you to support all effort to persuade the World Bank to
discontinue this ill-conceived plan. For example: - send a letter to
the World Bank. Feel free to use our letter as a basis for it; - pass
this information on to your own contacts and ask tem to respond as
well; - if you can, feel free to publish the HAI letter in your
newsletter or journal; - send it to your Ministry of Health,
International affairs department; - try to get as much publicity for
this issue as possible.

If you have not seen the announcement of the World-bank IFPMA
fellowship, please let us know and we will send you copy. Do not
forget to give us your postal address in your message.

Best wishes,

Ellen `t Hoen

[ Note from the E-drug moderator:

The Worldbank president does not have a publicly available email address.
The person in the Health and Population Dept is Prof. Richard Feachem;
According to the Worldbank services directory he is reachable under email
address:          rfeachem@worldbank.org

To find out Worldbank email addresses, use the following procedure:

Send an email to:   services@worldbank.org
with no subject
and in text:

Whois FirstName LastName 
Whois LastName

The publicly available info will then be emailed to you.

Wilbert Bannenberg, E-drug moderator]

Open letter of HAI to Worldbank:

James Wolfensohn
President of the World Bank
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433

Amsterdam, June 20, 1996

Dear Mr Wolfensohn,

We are writing to voice our concern about the implications of the
decision by the World Bank to establish a World Bank IFPMA Fellowship.
The creation of this fellowship is likely to undermine the basis of
trust between the World Bank and loan recipients and raises clear
problems in regard to conflict of interest. It seems to us highly
inappropriate for an international agency such as the World Bank to
establish a fellowship with an organization whose main role is to
promote the interests of one sector of the pharmaceutical industry. 

The World Bank is the most important single financer of health and
pharmaceutical programmes internationally. It has a commitment to
promoting policies which are cost-effective and which are based on the
WHO Essential Drugs Concept and plays an important role in guiding the
development of drug policies in borrower countries. The development of
essential drug lists, rational procurement, the promotion of generic
drug policies and improved use of drugs are all cornerstones of cost
effective drug policy. 

The IFPMA represents the interests of the international research based
industry. Their membership is made up largely of multinational
companies which concentrate on the production of brand name drugs. In
general producers of generic drugs are not members of the IFPMA but of
generic manufacturers associations. The IFPMA has, at best, been
lukewarm in its support of the WHO Essential Drugs Concept and at
country level the national associations affiliated to the IFPMA have
often been fierce opponents of attempts to implement national drug
policies. In countries in Western Europe, sectors of the
pharmaceutical industry have long resisted legislation to promote
generic drug substitution and when the Philippines passed the Generics
Act in 1988 the Drug Association of the Philippines bitterly opposed
the legislation.  

The announcement of the World Bank IFPMA fellowship states that the
fellowship is intended to strengthen the Bank's pharmaceutical
expertise and to increase industry awareness of the Bank's development
objectives.  We think it highly regrettable that the Bank seeks to
strengthen its expertise and promote its development objectives using
a process which excludes all candidates not employed by an IFPMA
member company.

The announcement further states that the successful candidate will be
involved in "assisting the Bank and its borrowers in the development
implementation and evaluation of health sector projects containing
pharmaceutical components." The IFPMA World Bank fellow will be
appointed from within an IFPMA member company and this company will
pay most of the costs of the fellowship for its two year duration.
There are serious conflict of interest issues raised by such a
situation. Would the IFPMA/World Bank fellow be promoting the interest
of the multinational industry - either knowingly or unknowingly? 
Would he/she have sufficient experience of the industry as a whole to
assess projects in the World Bank name ? Would borrower countries be
made aware of the fact that this position was financed not by the
World Bank but by an IFPMA affiliated manufacturer?  Would this
position give the IFPMA/World Bank fellow access to sensitive
information which borrower countries might prefer not to reveal to the
pharmaceutical industry?

We hope that you will reconsider the position of the World Bank in
relation to this fellowship and that you will be able to provide us
with information on the specific questions above as well as on the
following points :

- why has the World Bank agreed to the joint development of a
fellowship which is only open to applicants from IFPMA member
organisations? - what provisions does the World Bank have to deal with
the conflicts of interest problems raised by the establishment of this
fellowship? - does the World Bank support other fellowships of a
similar nature in other areas of policy?

Yours Sincerely,

Ellen `t Hoen
(HAI-Europe, on behalf of the three coordinating offices)

Dr. K.Balasubramaniam    Roberto Lopez Linares
Coordinator, HAI-Asia   Coordinator, HAI-Latin America 

| Health Action International Europe, Jacob van Lennepkade 334 T
| 1053 NJ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tel. +31-(0)20.6833684  
| Fax +31-(0)20.6855002

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