New partnership to support access to health interventions

Bern, 23.01.2014 - Switzerland and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation join forces to improve access to health interventions through the strengthening of regulatory systems The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve and accelerate access to health interventions and therapeutic products in resource-constraint countries. This should be achieved by coordinating and leveraging resources in a cooperation for the purpose of strengthening regulatory systems in these countries in order to bring quality life-saving medicines to patients as quickly as possible.

At their meeting in Bern on Wednesday January 22nd 2014, Dr. Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lukas Bruhin, Secretary General of the FDHA and Benno Bättig, Secretary General of the FDFA, signed the Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate increased collaboration and to start the process of establishing concrete initiatives.

The overall goal of this partnership is to accelerate and increase access to quality essential medicines of the populations living in low-income countries. The aim is to increase the efficiency of the regulatory review and registration process, by focusing stakeholders on value-added activities, and to strengthen the regulatory authorities' ability to protect their citizens' health. Though other regions may be involved, the initial focus will be on supporting regulators in sub-Saharan countries.

Work under the partnership will be led by Swissmedic, Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the authority responsible for the authorisation and supervision of therapeutic products and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) responsible for the overall coordination of development activities within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, which is engaged strongly in sub Saharan Africa supporting the access to quality health services including medicines. 

A working group has been established, which will develop concrete project proposals for review later this year.

Address for enquiries

Federal Department of Home Affairs
Swissmedic, Agency for Therapeutic Products
Dr. Petra Dörr, Head of Communication and Networking
(+41) 031 322 04 44

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Home Affairs

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs