We thank the organizers, World Health Organization and Ministry of Health of Argentina for convening this meeting and for inviting representatives from the innovative biopharmaceutical industry to share our experience and perspectives on how we can work collectively toward improved access to medicines worldwide.
It is with this mindset that we engaged in a constructive and open dialogue, aimed at co-creating solutions to our common objective of bringing innovative medicines to more patients around the world. We remain committed to maintaining the course in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals health targets, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The innovative biopharmaceutical industry is sensitive to the debate about affordability and access. We are making progress through new partnerships in reaching many more patients and supporting health systems for sustainable and longstanding improvements to patient health outcomes. There is still work to be done; and there is no room for complacency.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown how the innovative biopharmaceutical industry has risen to the occasion and to meet societal expectations in developing and scaling up manufacturing of tests, treatments, and vaccines, driven by a strong belief that in the end science will win and help us to overcome the pandemic. There are challenges to overcome in meeting the goal of “no one is safe until everyone is safe”, but we have also seen the power of public-private partnerships, such as Covax, and the critical role of vaccine manufacturers from industrialized as well as developing countries in scaling up production from zero to billions of doses in record time.
As discussed in prior editions of the Fair Pricing Forum, “fair pricing and fair access” should be achieved while ensuring continued support for an innovation ecosystem that allows future discoveries for today and tomorrow’s unmet medical needs. The COVID-19 innovations and roll out that have been achieved for the pandemic as a response to the biggest public health crisis of our age, cannot be assumed to be the norm. The unprecedented actions industry has taken for the coronavirus public health pandemic IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL. We have been able to respond in the manner that we have by leaning on the knowledge, know-how and pillars of a functioning innovation eco-system, built on decades of on-going investment.
We want to be better-prepared for future pandemics. To enable this, the fundamentals that have enabled our industry’s readiness to swiftly take on the COVID challenge should not be compromised.