Statement 25 January 2024

EB154 individual statement on health emergencies


On 25 January, IFPMA delivered a statement on health emergencies at the WHO 154th Executive Board in Geneva, Switzerland.

We are concerned that the draft proposals for the WHO Agreement would compromise the innovation ecosystem and fail to come up with practical solutions to addressing equity.

First, the current proposals are likely to delay access to the pathogens that scientists need to rapidly carry out research at the outbreak of a future pandemic. Second, the proposed WHO Agreement text would also lead to a weaker pipeline of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for diseases with pandemic potential. The weakening of intellectual property (IP), coupled with burdensome conditions, will deter investment in the research and development (R&D) of infectious diseases. Third, many proposals do not address equitable access effectively, failing to propose an adequately funded procurement mechanism for low-income countries. Finally, the commitments to remove trade restrictions should be strengthened as no interventions on equitable access will work if export restrictions are in place.

The pharmaceutical industry sets out practical solutions in the Berlin Declaration to address inequity in future pandemics. These plans include a commitment from pharmaceutical companies to reserve an allocation of real-time production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for priority populations in lower-income countries. We urge governments to refocus on such practical solutions and ensure we do not see a repeat of the export restrictions that hampered the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, driving the inequity of access that we saw.


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