Industry statement at fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for a WHO instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response
On 28 February, IFPMA delivered a statement at the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for a WHO instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response held from 27 February – 3 March 2023.
The current WHO INB Zero Draft features a series of valuable points including the importance of Universal Health Coverage, regulatory capacity building, and health systems strengthening.
However, we are deeply concerned that key elements of the Zero Draft would undermine both the innovation ecosystem and the immediate access to pathogens, which were critical for the record speed development and scaling up of medical countermeasures. Weakening IP would not lead to a better pandemic response and would be counter-productive by weakening the R&D ecosystem developing pandemic technologies.
We should not presume that the next pandemic will be similar to COVID-19 where we saw an unprecedented mobilization of R&D, manufacturing scale-up and voluntary technology transfer. We need to maintain enablers for future pandemic preparedness and response encouraging public and private partnerships, strengthen what worked well, and together address the need to improve equitable access and rollout of vaccines, treatments and tests globally.
Via the Berlin Declaration, industry expressed our commitment to improve equitable access of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. We encourage the INB to find ways to enable such early, more equitable access through strengthening health systems in lower-income countries so they are better prepared to absorb and deliver vaccines and treatments and ensuring that surge funding is available at the outset of future pandemics.
Industry supports a strengthened global supply chain. This should primarily be built up and sustained to reflect the economic realities of global supply and demand over the longer-term, and building on the expertise and capabilities of the private sector. Key enabling measures include eliminating trade barriers, further streamlining regulatory procedures and expediting cross border supply and movement of skilled workforce.
A multistakeholder structure is the only viable solution to managing pandemic crises. The private sector should be seen as a critical partner and should have a seat at the table.
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 ifpma.org.Learn more
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