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HHS Secretary Azar Calls for Strengthened Global Health Through Innovation

June 1, 2018
Last week Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke in Geneva at the 71st World Health Assembly’s meeting. While laying out key priorities for the US and the World Health Organization (WHO), Secretary Azar brought awareness and attention to the WHO and UN’s health and sustainability goals. He challenged the WHO to maintain its focus on preventing, detecting and responding to public health emergencies, specifically bringing awareness to pandemics.

[caption id="attachment_28263" align="alignleft" width="203"] Secretary Azar speaking at the 71st World Health Assembly in 2018[/caption]


BIO commends Secretary Azar for bringing attention to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In doing so, Secretary Azar, emphasized the importance of biotechnology in helping to complete these g

oals. He also emphasized the importance of the private sector in creating innovations, at a lower cost to the public, which can help meet the UN and the WHO goals for 2030.


Biotechnology innovations are building the foundation for healthy individuals, animals and a healthy planet to live and provide for productive lives. Innovations in health, agriculture and industrial/environmental biotechnology will help the UN meet their 17 SDGs, such as ending hunger and poverty. With these goals in mind, Secretary Azar encouraged WHO members to incentivize biopharmaceutical innovation as a means of improving global health.