Statement 2 October 2023

Fifth meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005)


On 2 October, IFPMA delivered a statement at the fifth meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (WGIHR) (2005) in Geneva.

The innovative pharmaceutical industry remains firmly committed to continue to work constructively with the WGIHR. As reiterated at the last joint plenary meeting, we are supportive of the two Bureaus’ efforts to foster greater coherence and complementarity between the WGIHR and Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) instruments.

To respond even faster and achieve greater equitable access from the outset, we need to collectively reinforce the actions that have worked well – such as the innovation ecosystem, a strong IP incentive framework, and partnerships across the board – and find balanced and pragmatic solutions to address the shortcomings of the last pandemic, in particular the inequitable rollout of medical countermeasures.

As negotiations take on a more technical deep dive, the industry urges the WGIHR to consider the following two key elements:

  • Facilitating and promoting the sharing of outbreak information, including the immediate and unhindered access to pathogens and their genetic information, must be strengthened to support the technical objectives of the IHR; and
  • Finding fit-for-purpose outcomes for equitable access to medical countermeasures must not undermine the innovation system, which developed, scaled, and delivered the vaccines, treatments, and tests at record speed during COVID-19. We also call for more inclusive, broader multi-stakeholder dialogue.

The industry stands ready and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to constructive cooperation, coordination, and collaboration with the WGIHR.


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