Statement 21 March 2024

9th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB): Open session with relevant stakeholders focusing on critical elements for a pandemic agreement



On 21 March 2024, Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA delivered a statement at the 9th Meeting of the INB in an open session with relevant stakeholders focusing on critical elements for a pandemic agreement.

IFPMA strongly supports the efforts to find agreement on a Pandemic Accord and we reaffirm our full commitment to constructively contribute.

First, building on the Berlin Declaration, biopharmaceutical companies from both developed and developing countries released a new statement last week to make it clear that we do want a Pandemic Accord. Companies are willing to accept mandatory commitments to delivering equitable access to essential medical countermeasures, provided that the system is workable.

These commitments include allocation of a percentage of real time production of a relevant therapeutic or vaccine after a pandemic is declared on the basis of public health risks, needs, and demand. This could include a portion expected as a donation to low-income countries (LICs) and/or a portion negotiated under equity-based tiered pricing. But it could also include other important contributions such as improving surveillance; research on pathogens of pandemic potential; or voluntary licensing based on mutually agreed terms to improve geographic diversification of manufacturing.

We urge Member States to build on this statement signed by representative industry bodies from the Global North and the Global South to develop a flexible and agile approach to equitable access, which induce a critical mass of companies to voluntarily sign up to the system. Time does not permit to go into the details of all the commitments listed, but I encourage you to read the Joint Statement on Delivering Equitable Access in Pandemics released on 11 March with support from industry across the world, including from developing countries.

Second, we support a feasible and workable Access-Benefit-Sharing scheme, with the creation of a partnership that would attract broad, universal participation. The system must be open and unmonopolized, integrating rather than replacing existing systems and networks. Governance of the PABS system needs to be inclusive, with WHO having a central role as part of a broader partnership of Member States and stakeholders, including industry. In order to foster legal certainty, the Accord must be established and legally recognized as a Specialized International Instrument in accordance with Article 4, Paragraph 4 of the Nagoya Protocol.

Third, time is running short, so we call for realism and pragmatism to find an agreement. We believe that the recently submitted proposal by the European Union contains several practical and realistic elements we can work with.

As we have said multiple times in the past, the Accord needs to preserve what worked well in the COVID-19 pandemic – the rapid access to pathogens and genetic sequence information and the innovation system delivering fast and on record scale – but it must also fix what did not work well: the equitable rollout of medical countermeasures. I can assure you that we and our companies are willing to commit to this!


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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