30 March 2021 – In view of the social and economic impact of current COVID-19 crisis, political leadership in preparing for any eventual future pandemic is crucial. Over the last 12 months we have seen the importance of a strong innovation system and the successful development of several safe and highly effective vaccines in record time. The discussions around a possible International Pandemic Treaty need to take into account the important role played by the innovative biopharmaceutical industry and its supply chain in fighting the virus. It will be important to acknowledge the critical role played by the incentive system in developing tests, therapeutics, and vaccines to contain and defeat the coronavirus. We hope that the discussions on an International Pandemic Treaty will address enablers for future pandemic preparedness – the importance of incentives for future innovation, the immediate and unrestricted access to pathogens, and the importance of the free flow of goods and workforce during the pandemic – in addition to continuing the multi stakeholder approach undertaken in ACT-A and COVAX.
The biopharmaceutical industry and its supply chain is part of the solution for future pandemics and therefore should play a role in shaping an international Pandemic Treaty.
In the short term, in acknowledgement of the current coronavirus crisis, we hope politicians will support the free flow of goods and workforce, acknowledge the unprecedented efforts in collaboration and voluntary tech transfer across vaccine makers from developed and developing countries and show solidarity to ensure the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines reach people so that no one is left behind.