Pharma recommends five priorities for future pandemic preparedness and response
As the international community discusses a future pandemic architecture1 fit for purpose to prepare and respond to public health emergencies, the innovative pharmaceutical industry outlines five priorities that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown to be fundamental2. These priorities are critical to develop and deploy countermeasures even faster and more effectively and achieve greater health equity from the outset of future pandemics.
A new architecture needs to maintain what has proven to be effective in addressing this pandemic: a thriving innovation environment made possible thanks to unimpeded and swift access to emerging pathogens and an R&D ecosystem supported by a tried and tested intellectual property framework. However, the inequities in access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics despite major global efforts must be overcome. As the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response is discussed, the innovative pharmaceutical industry shares practical solutions and recommends focusing on:
- Sustaining a thriving innovation ecosystem that can be counted on to deliver rapid research and development of new pandemic countermeasures, as proposed in the 100 Day Mission3, and guaranteeing fast, certain, and unencumbered access to pathogens and their genetic information. Intellectual property incentives are critical to a thriving innovation ecosystem on which global health security can depend. They provide the necessary framework that makes at risk investments possible in advance of the next pandemic, and they facilitate voluntary partnerships, business-to-business agreements, technology transfer, and other forms of collaboration.
- Building equitable access early on into pandemic responses, shaping a new social contract, as outlined in the industry proposal4, to reserve an allocation of real-time production of vaccines and treatments for future pandemics for priority populations in lower income countries and take measures to make them available and affordable.
- Fostering sustainable manufacturing globally that can scale-up for high volume supply in future pandemics. The right enabling environment to attract sustainable investments and predictable demand will be critical to maintain existing capacity and introduce new capacity in other regions. Robust intellectual property protection is a requirement for fast-tracking partnerships, including for voluntary licensing and/or early voluntary technology transfers that result in a lasting and economically viable manufacturing base that produces safe, effective, and quality products.
- Supporting a trading environment that contributes to global health security with open borders and the removal of trade restrictions to counter vaccine nationalism and enable the free movement of vaccines, treatments, and their raw materials and supplies, as well as the movement of people needed to support their manufacture by sharing technical know-how.
- Supporting ongoing efforts to ensure greater country readiness to anticipate and respond to future pandemics through investing in key health system capabilities, including life-course immunization programs. Improved and expanded pathogen sharing and disease surveillance are needed, alongside robust pandemic plans to deliver pandemic vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics and care to populations in all countries, while maintaining access to routine and essential health services. Progress should be built on, and complement, progress towards Universal Health Coverage, which is an essential foundation for effective pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
These efforts and practical solutions to strengthen our collective capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to future threats are underpinned by the need for collaboration, where industry has a seat at the table of global architecture discussions, as well as clarity on the financing mechanisms that are available to countries to establish and maintain pandemic preparedness within resilient healthcare systems.
 Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (INB), International Health Regulations (IHR), 100 Day Mission: developing vaccines, treatments, and tests for future pandemics.
 These five priorities are consistent with the innovative pharmaceutical industry’s “Fives steps to urgently advance COVID-19 vaccine equity” (19 May 2021).
 Berlin Declaration: industry’s vision for equitable access in pandemic (19 July 2022). This framework has been endorsed by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network (DCVMN) (23 October 2022).
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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