We congratulate you on the early progress made on this important and complex work. We will share written comments in due course.
At a high level, we welcome the recognition that the development of new medicines rests on the protection of intellectual property rights; that our ability to develop medical countermeasures relies on unhindered and rapid sharing of samples and genetic sequence data of pathogens; and the necessity to work towards achieving strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage, as an essential foundation for effective pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
We are also aligned with the need to work together with all stakeholders to ensure equitable access to pandemic vaccines and treatments in the future. Building on our achievements in developing and scaling up multiple safe and effective vaccines and innovative treatments against COVID-19 in historic record time, as well as on lessons learned, we are pleased to put forward the “Berlin Declaration”, which represents the biopharmaceutical industry’s joint solution on how to build equity into future pandemic preparedness.
The Declaration presents global leaders with a proposal that could help ensure the supply of pandemic vaccines, treatments and diagnostics are delivered as early as possible in future pandemics to all those who need them most.
With the framework proposed in the Berlin Declaration, industry offers to reserve an allocation of real-time production for distribution to priority populations in lower-income countries. While this could contribute significantly, it will only succeed if other stakeholders play their parts.
A prerequisite for success is that health systems in lower income countries are better prepared to absorb and deliver vaccines and treatments, and for high income countries to provide the necessary political and financial support. The declaration underscores the necessity for a strong innovation eco-system, grounded in intellectual property rights, and the removal of trade and regulatory barriers to export. It also emphasizes that without robust pandemic plans to deliver pandemic vaccines, treatments and diagnostics and care to populations in all countries, attempts to improve equity will falter.