Statement 24 July 2023

Fourth meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations


On 24 July, IFPMA made a statement at the fourth meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) in Geneva.

At this critical juncture of negotiations, especially following the joint plenary meeting of the WGIHR and INB, the innovative pharmaceutical industry supports efforts to move toward coherence and complementarity between the two instruments.

With pragmatism as the cornerstone, we need to focus on preserving what works well – such as the innovation ecosystem – and removing barriers that are impacting our collective abilities to respond to public health risks. Looking to the future, early access to pathogens, open borders without upstream or downstream trade restrictions, and a strong IP incentive framework are what is needed.

In line with its technical scope, we encourage the WGIHR to consider:

  1. Ensuring and promoting the sharing of outbreak information, including the immediate and unhindered access to pathogens, as a critical step to help inform a coordinated global response to outbreaks and trigger R&D
  2. Delineating equitable access discussions under the WHO CA+.

To move the negotiating needle and find balanced solutions for these key issues, more evidence-based dialogue, with the relevant experts and stakeholders around the table, is required.

Multi-stakeholder engagement, with public and private sectors working together, is the only viable, sustainable way forward. Any future approach must be underpinned by this inclusive principle, and we encourage the WGIHR to open the door to broader dialogue, including via information briefings on specific topics open to relevant stakeholders (as noted in the report of the 3rd meeting of the WGIHR).

We remain fully committed to working constructively 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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Media Contact

Elliot Dunster