Statement 21 February 2023

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


On 21 February, IFPMA delivered a statement at the second meeting of the Working Group on amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (WGIHR) held from 20-24 February 2023.

The innovative pharmaceutical industry appreciates the WGIHR for providing an opportunity to make our initial comments. The current IHR review process offers a unique opportunity to enhance the global surveillance of pathogens, a critical aspect in future pandemic preparedness.

As negotiations evolve, the innovative pharmaceutical industry encourages the WGIHR to take stock of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage public-private partnerships, build on the strong IP-based innovation ecosystem, and ensure rapid detection and open sharing of pathogens and their information, while acknowledging that challenges remain. Pandemic preparedness needs to preserve what worked well during COVID-19 and improve equitable rollout of vaccines, treatments, and tests in future pandemics.

Recognizing that we should act faster and better, the innovative pharmaceutical industry has committed to early access – via the Berlin Declaration – by reserving an allocation of real-time production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for priority populations in lower-income countries and taking measures to make them available and affordable.

The industry called on stakeholders to work together and help make this proposal a reality for future pandemics. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, acknowledged this as a constructive, proactive solution to support its work towards equitable access to pandemic vaccines.

Finally, there are complex interdependencies in the “global health architecture” that should be considered and incorporated into the discussions, avoiding unnecessary overlaps. We encourage a close coordination between IHR and INB processes to ensure a non-duplicative, fit-for-purpose outcome for all. The industry remains committed to constructively working with both the WGIHR and INB in these important discussions.


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