On Monday, 4 May 2020, David Ricks, IFPMA President and Chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly, delivered a video statement at the Global Response Pledging Conference convened by the European Commission together with the WHO (YouTube). The objective of the conference was to raise 7.5bn EUR to ramp up work on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments in the global fight against COVID-19.
In his statement, David Ricks emphasized that the biopharmaceutical industry has moved quickly and decisively to channel its innovation and mobilize its knowhow in response to the pandemic, and that the industry is driven by a deep sense of responsibility towards patients and society as a whole.
He said “whether for vaccines or treatments, our companies have diverted considerable resources and brought together our best people to accelerate the development of new treatments and vaccines to contain COVID-19. We are collaborating widely to ensure that our expertise is shared across the scientific community as part of the global fight against this devastating virus.
All of us are stepping up and investing in R&D and manufacturing. IFPMA member companies have as many as 25 clinical trials under way and are investigating over 130 potential therapies. On top of the R&D that has been scaled up in response to the crisis at incredible speed, the industry has provided over $700m in donations and in-kind support during this crisis.
To ensure that nobody is left behind in facing this pandemic, industry is committed to working with governments and partners to make these treatments available and affordable for the patients that need them – wherever and whoever they may be. Our role as a Founding Partner of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator partnership is important given our unique position to find and scale up solutions for preventing and treating COVID-19.
The development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics is not enough, however. More than ever, we need effective international cooperation to ensure that no one is left behind in the race to end COVID-19. This cooperation requires coordinated, multi-stakeholder action that includes the private sector as a critical partner.”
Together with David Ricks, world leaders and other global health leaders took the floor. The moderator Ursula von der Leyen, President, EU Commission and co-lead Emmanuel Macron, President of France both emphasized the need for a common framework to tackle the pandemic, which brings together all private and public actors in the effort to fight COVID-19.