January 28, 2015 - The anti-doping and pharmaceutical communities convened in Japan today for the Second International Conference on the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight against Doping.
The Conference, titled ‘New Developments for Clean Sport and Society', took place at Meiji-Kinen-kan in Tokyo, and followed on from the groundbreaking inaugural event in Paris in November 2012. The event was attended by representatives from leading organizations in the anti-doping, sport and pharmaceutical industries who explored new ways to help protect the rights of the clean athlete and restrict the abuse of licensed and unlicensed medicines.
The Conference was the latest step in increased cooperation between the anti-doping and pharmaceutical industries; and, aimed to further improve information sharing and collaboration to tackle the issue of doping within sport and society as a whole.
It was hosted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology-Japan (MEXT), the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and, further supported by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Associations of Japan (FPMAJ) and the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA).
The State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, Mr. Hideki Niwa, welcomed 300 participants to the Conference, which was also attended by the Director, Division of Ethics, Youth & Sport of UNESCO, Ms. Angela Melo; IFPMA Vice President and FPMAJ President, Mr. Masafumi Nogimori; WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie; and, JADA President, Professor Hidenori Suzuki.
WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie: “This was the first major gathering since the revised World Anti-Doping Code came into force on 1 January and so is seen as a seminal event, particularly given the anti-doping community’s growing relations with the pharmaceutical industry.
“As we enter this new chapter for anti-doping, one of WADA’s main priorities is to further develop partnerships with pharmaceutical companies so that those organizations can share information on pipeline products that could potentially be abused by athletes; and, that in turn, WADA can share information on particular products that are being misused by athletes. These partnerships offer a win-win scenario for both WADA and the pharmaceutical industry; as such, the discussions we have had here today have been of great importance in our efforts to protect the clean athlete.”
One benefit of such partnerships is early identification of drugs in development that have doping potential and timely development of detection methods for such substances. Such an approach has already been proven efficient in recent years, and has contributed to the sanctioning of a number of athletes who took prohibited substances that were still under development or discontinued.”
State Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan as well as WADA Executive Committee member, Mr. Hideki Niwa: “As the host for this conference with WADA, UNESCO and JADA, I am delighted to have all the international and domestic participants gathered together in Tokyo. Since anti-doping is the field not only for sport but also for the government equally taking an active role, it was a pleasure seeing the stakeholders actively engaged in the conference.
“The conference has shown our commitment in anti-doping activity and the significance on the partnership-building. This conference has marked a significant step for the specialist fields coming together for the protection of sport values and health of the public.
“As host of the Tokyo 2020 Games, I hope that these collaborative relations can be expanded through “PLAY TRUE 2020, Sport for Tomorrow” domestically and internationally.”
JADA President, Professor Hidenori Suzuki, M.D.: “JADA is honored to welcome all international and domestic participants to this important conference in Tokyo. This conference was the best opportunity to highlight the specialist fields of the pharmaceutical industry and anti-doping community sharing their ultimate objective, that is to protect public health.
“Ever since our Memorandum of Understanding with FPMAJ and WADA in June 2013, this conference has shown our shared understanding of the importance of extending partnerships for preventing the abuse of drugs and sharing information where possible through a joint commitment.
“For the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, we are pleased to launch the ‘PLAY TRUE 2020, Sport for Tomorrow’ government legacy commitment. With this conference held in Tokyo, I hope we can initiate the joint effort further working more closely with all the stakeholders concerned.
UNESCO Director, Division of Ethics, Youth & Sport, Ms. Angelo Melo: “As co-organizer, UNESCO is delighted to participate in this second international meeting. The Tokyo 2015 edition is of particular importance to our efforts to coordinate activities and resources, as advocated by the International convention against doping in sport.
“In light of the 5th Conference of States Parties that will be held in Paris in November 2015, it is also the opportunity for UNESCO to share its vision with partners gathered in Tokyo with the aim of driving forward our goals for a fruitful and tangible multilateral partnership.
“Building on the 2012 edition of the Conference, held in Paris, which pioneered the formalized engagement of the pharmaceutical industry alongside governments, WADA and UNESCO; the 2015 edition represents an equally significant opportunity to bring the protection of athletes and the need for an information-sharing mechanism to the core of challenges to be addressed within the framework of sport-integrity. The unanimity of all participants regarding these immanent social values shows that it remains a universally shared common good.
“Alongside its partners, UNESCO reaffirms its conviction that sporting competitions and practices must be preserved and suspicions related to doping issues allayed, while continuing to support the adequate conditions to translate the efforts undertaken in Tokyo into visible effects. In order to achieve this, the partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, governments and the sport movement needs to lay the foundations for an approach that combines pragmatism and collaboration. Solutions must be forged in this perspective of convergence of non-conflicting and non-antagonists interests.”
IFPMA Vice President & FPMAJ President, Mr. Masafumi Nogimori: “The success of WADA's cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry is a story that deserves telling. It is a real and tangible partnership with the pharmaceutical industry committing considerable resources and information sharing in an effort to help curb the use of banned performance-enhancing substances. The world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies are providing WADA with early information about the products they are currently developing that could be used to enhance athlete's performances. As part of the anti-doping community, we are proud to play a role in ensuring fairness in sport and are looking forward to continuing our work together to restrict the abuse of licensed and unlicensed medicines by unscrupulous athletes.
“We need to increase cooperation as doping athletes are trying to escape detection. The last thing we want is for our researchers’ tireless work to discover and develop life-saving medicines as our contribution to a healthier society to be misused for the purposes of cheating and undermining the trust in sport. The WADA and IFPMA cooperation is well placed to prevent temptation of doping athletes to jeopardize pharmaceutical innovation.”
Representatives from organizations including the World Health Organisation (WHO), Interpol, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline explored the societal and economic risks of doping, and the impact it can have on the health industry. The current challenges anti-doping faces, and the role that the biopharmaceutical industry can play in meeting those challenges, were among other topics discussed.