Statement 19 February 2024

8th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body


On 19 February in Geneva, Switzerland, IFPMA delivered a statement at the 8th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB).

Concluding the negotiations on a new pandemic agreement must continue to center around two key objectives. The first is ensuring equity of access to medical countermeasures in future pandemics. The second is ensuring that science and innovation can deliver at the rapid pace and scale needed.   

We remain deeply concerned that current proposals will not address the issue of inequity of access and will stifle the innovation ecosystem that delivered against COVID-19. Delinking access to pathogens from benefit-sharing obligations is the most effective way to support innovation and equitable access. Our industry has made a clear commitment to reserve an allocation of real-time production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for priority populations in lower-income countries in future pandemics, as well as taking measures to make them available and affordable. 

The latest negotiating text on a Pathogen Access Benefit-Sharing (PABS) System includes stringent requirements for sharing or accessing pathogen data that could severely hinder responses to future pandemics and basic research and development (R&D) and will not improve equitable access to medical countermeasures. This approach must be replaced by one which enshrines a decentralized pathogen sharing system based on existing databases, a legally enforceable obligation for all countries to promptly share pathogen samples and sequence data, and a legally binding presumption of consent for accessing pathogens.  

An effective pandemic agreement will require the contribution of all stakeholders acting in cooperation. Industry is keen to provide evidence and experience to negotiators and we are eager to make a positive contribution to a practical agreement.  


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster