Statement 20 March 2023

WHO Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) intersessional briefing on the “Sustainable and equitably distributed production”


On 20 March, IFPMA delivered a shortened version of the below statement at the WHO INB intersessional briefing on “Article 7: Access to technology: promoting sustainable and equitably distributed production sustainable and equitably distributed production and transfer of technology and know-how” of the WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (“WHO CA+”).

Industry is committed to support a geographically diverse and sustainable manufacturing footprint as well as mechanisms for rapidly scaling up supply in a future pandemic. While regionalization of manufacturing is an important discussion, it will not help improve equitable access in the short term, as there is already excess manufacturing capacity.

There are many factors leading to unequal access to medical countermeasures. By focusing exclusively on manufacturing capacity, this proposal risks failing to identify and address the myriad of barriers to equitable access. For instance, upstream activities to ensure a sustainable pharmaceutical ecosystem including development of infrastructure, human resource and skills development, regulatory strengthening, and capacity building as well as downstream activities such as demand generation and delivery of medical countermeasures are critical components in ensuring a sustainable manufacturing business model.

Building the necessary capabilities will require sufficient long-term funding and realistic timescales. Planning the construction of any new vaccine or medicine capacity is a complex and costly undertaking that will require defined public health needs, policy goals, technological and geographical ambitions, and close collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Sustainability for both incumbent and new manufacturers is critical as there is a potential medium-term risk related to increased regionalization, including potential market exits of manufacturers with implications for supply security and access to innovation. The goal should be to achieve a healthy market dynamic over time, including in inter-pandemic periods, that provides appropriate incentives to enable both global access and innovation.


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