Isabel Saraiva was born in Portugal November 14, 1949. She lives in Lisbon and is a member of the Ordem dos Economistas, the Portuguese Official Association of Economists. In 1972 she got her economics degree at the Lisbon Technical University. From 1974 to 1984 she worked in several companies within the Pharmaceutical Industry Sector as a manager and executive director. The next two years she worked as Director-General in the Portuguese Industry Confederation, before she became Executive Director at the Portuguese Pharmaceutical Trade Association where she worked from 1987 to 2015. From 2013 to 2015 she was an European Medicines Agency Expert, and during this time she also was the member of the board and the COPD working group in the European Federation of Allergy and Airwais Diseases Patient’s Associations.
In 2016 she was diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonar Disease). After this diagnosis all the new appointments she got and activities she got involved with, were and are in a pro bono basis. She has been a member of the Movement of Patients for Vacination, Competetiveness Forum and the Commission for the Revision of the Principles of the Healthcare Law (Ministry of Health). Outside Lisbon she has been a Chair for the European Lung Foundation (ELF) in Sheffield, UK. She has also been a member of the Dialogue Platform in the IMI project SPRINTT (as a patient).
Currently, Isabel has a lot of functions: She is a member of the Several Portuguese and Foreign Advisory Boards related with Respiratory Health, and a member of the jury in the Maria José Nogueira Pinto Prize for Social Responsability (Lisbon). In January 2020, Isabel became the President of the Directive Board for RESPIRA (the Portuguese Association of People with COPD and Other Chronic Respiratory Diseases), where she has worked since 2007. She is also the President of the Members General Assembly in both the Health Dialogue Platform Association and the Rare Diseases Portugal.
She is also a frequent speaker in conferences, in Portugal and abroad, related with Healthcare issues, mainly Pharmaceutical Industry, the role of Patient Associations, and Chronic Respiratory Diseases.