Health Professionals and Patients Announce Historic Partnership

London, United Kingdom, 19 January 2004 -- The International Alliance of Patients' Organizations (IAPO) today announced a historic partnership with the global organizations representing nurses, pharmacists and physicians. The International Council of Nurses (ICN), the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA) have granted official partnership status to IAPO - the global group representing patients of all nationalities across all disease areas. These partnerships provide an important mechanism for health professionals and patients to work together towards quality patient-centred healthcare around the world.

Albert van der Zeijden, Chair of IAPO, welcomed the partnerships commenting, "We know that we cannot achieve patient-centred healthcare working on our own - we welcome this opportunity to work within supportive and understanding partnerships with health professional associations." Judith Oulton, ICN's Chief Executive Officer said, "As health professionals, this partnership reflects our commitment to understanding the needs and perspectives of patients, the focus of our work".

Commenting on the resource implications, Dr Otmar Kloiber, WMA Secretary General, said "Exchange of knowledge and skills and the pooling of expertise and networks will be beneficial to our interactions with our member associations and with the World Health Organization (WHO)." On behalf of FIP, General Secretary, Ton Hoek, added, "We are very pleased with this partnership and would also encourage our member associations to seek useful collaborations with patients' organizations to improve the delivery of healthcare worldwide".

The IAPO has also released exciting plans to forward relationships between health professionals and patients at IAPO's 1st Global Patients Congress in February 2005 in London. Patients' organizations from around the world will work together with the leaders of ICN, FIP and WMA to find and implement ways to develop relationships between health professionals and patients on national, regional and international levels. Viriginia Ladd, Board Member of IAPO and a patient with a long term chronic illness, welcomed the focus of the Congress commenting, "Good relationships between patients and the health professionals that serve them are based on mutual respect, trust and effective communication and will encourage advantageous outcomes for both patients and health professionals including increased adherence to therapies and satisfaction with care."