Geneva 10 November 2020 – On the occasion of the World Health Assembly, the world’s research-based and generic & biosimilar pharmaceutical industry bodies delivered a statement declaring their shared commitment to equitable access to COVID-19 medicines and vaccines. In their joint statement, the two global pharmaceutical industry bodies acknowledge their responsibility and commitment to support the international response to the pandemic with their unique scientific, technical and manufacturing expertise to meet the increased demand for medicines; and to the discovery and development of affordable therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19. However, for the pharmaceutical industry to do so fully, it requires others to play their part.
The two pharmaceutical industry bodies list eight areas of shared concern that require international solidarity, cooperation, coordination and support. The areas covered involve trade, disease surveillance and demand forecasting, regulatory alignment, partnership, support for balanced intellectual property; and for multilateral organizations and country leaders to align on allocation principles to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. They also underscore the need to ensure adequate resources are spent to build stronger, more resilient health systems.
From the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, the whole pharmaceutical industry has shown commitment to business integrity and stepped up to bring its expertise to meet the increased demand for medicines; and to the discovery and development of affordable therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19. The two global trade federations representing the research-based pharmaceutical industry (IFPMA) and the generic and biosimilar medicines industries (IGBA), are founding partners of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. By joining this unique multi-stakeholder partnership, the industry bodies recognised their shared responsibility in bringing their unique scientific, technical and manufacturing expertise to meet the increased demand for medicines. In the spirit of the principles of international solidarity, the two pharmaceutical bodies call on others to play their part in providing the enabling environment needed for the industry to do its job in the best way possible.
Moving forward, the two industry bodies (IGBA and IFPMA) point to the importance of ensuring adequate resources are spent to build stronger, more resilient health systems that can cope with complex health challenges. It will also be essential to minimise the disruption to the provision of essential health services and continue the fight against priority diseases. Not to do so will undermine the significant progress we have made together on major health challenges such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), routine immunisation, and other infectious diseases.