Press Release

Rotary Int'l and Partners Contribute to Polio-Free India

PhRMA November 3, 2012

Washington, D.C. (November 3, 2012) — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and its members are pleased to celebrate one of the most significant global health achievements of the 21st century.  For over the past three years, we have supported Rotary International’s PolioPlus program in India through grants and contributions, some of which have been matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

“Making India polio-free through the spectacular work of the global polio eradication initiative partners and the government of India, demonstrates that successful public/private partnerships can overcome significant barriers to access to health to achieve a great outcome for patients,” said Chip Davis, Executive Vice President of PhRMA.“For more than 25 years, Rotary has led global efforts to rid the world of this disease through their model of public-private cooperation.  Making India polio free has to be one of the modern miracles for civilization.”

"The India polio campaign-- despite the challenges posed by a population of 1.2 billion people-- is one of the best and most notable public health successes,” said Deepak Kapur, Rotary India National PolioPlus Chair. “Today, while challenges remain, India is over the halfway mark to achieve regional polio-free certification in 2014. The achievement of the India program, led by the Government of India and partners – Rotary International, WHO, UNICEF, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –to ensure that each and every child is reached by the vaccine in the upcoming immunization rounds will rid the country of polio."

PhRMA’s most recent contribution helped to support building  health system capacity by providing financial support to Rotary for the purpose of supplying materials for informal health workers that staffed the immunization camps.

Olivier Charmeil, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi Group, said: “India has made great accomplishments in the fight against polio. Sanofi Pasteur has been a leading provider of polio vaccines and a supporter to partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for over 20 years. We intend to continue to be a major supporter of all efforts to finish the job and wipe out polio from the surface of the globe.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested over $500 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 alone.

Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place through humanitarian service. For more information and images for download please visit

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