Statement at the High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response
On 20 September 2023, IFPMA submitted a statement at the UN High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response in New York.
Your excellencies and distinguished guests, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this High-Level Meeting on behalf of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, or IFPMA.
We have learned much from our response to COVID-19 about how we can ensure the world is better prepared against future pandemics. The biopharmaceutical innovation ecosystem delivered innovative vaccines in record time and scale to respond to COVID-19. We are committed to playing our part in future pandemics and further research and development (R&D) is essential to help us prepare. We share the moral imperative to respond faster and do better to ensure equitable access to treatments and vaccines.
A strong intellectual property system is key to attract the R&D investments for both vaccines and therapeutics against diseases that have the potential to cause pandemics in the future. Alongside this, immediate and unfettered access to pathogens and their genetic information will be essential in allowing scientists to respond rapidly to future pandemics and meet the ambition of the 100 Days Mission and respond even faster in future. The immediate sharing of SARS-CoV-2 pathogen data was core to the unprecedented speed of the scientific response to COVID19 and will be central to our response to the next pandemic.
Conditions, uncertainties, or negotiations attached to pathogen sharing risk significant delays in the development of countermeasures, as we have seen under certain national legislation implementing the Nagoya Protocol – and need to be avoided in future systems.
Via the Berlin Declaration, industry has expressed its commitment to early and equitable access by reserving an allocation of real-time production of vaccine, treatments, and diagnostics for priority populations in lower-income countries and to take measures to make them available and affordable.
These proposals must be matched by a new social contract between countries that underpins a more equitable roll-out of medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics. This will require political leadership to allow frictionless trade of medical supplies and a commitment not to introduce export restrictions, which hampered the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines.
As progress continues towards a new ‘Pandemic Treaty’, we must retain a focus on protecting and building on the innovation ecosystem that delivered against COVID-19, including the immediate access to pathogen data, alongside sustainable solutions that ensure the equitable rollout of medical countermeasures in response to future pandemics.
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
Media ContactElliot Dunster email@example.com