Ahead of UN General Assembly, pharmaceutical industry underscores need for pandemic preparedness plans to support innovation and equity
Ahead of discussions at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has warned that current pandemic preparedness plans should not undermine what worked well in response to COVID-19 and must support both “innovation and equity.”
IFPMA has called for current plans to be strengthened to support the development of vaccines and treatments that will be needed for the next pandemic, alongside practical measures to ensure there is equity in access to medical countermeasures in lower-income countries.
Progress will require coordinated action by industry, governments, and multilateral organizations to put in place the right incentives that support the pipeline of vaccines and treatments for future pandemics. This must include scientists having rapid access to pathogens and genetic information and the ability for companies to partner on a voluntary basis.
Alongside the focus on ensuring greater equity of access, IFPMA has called for these measures to be central to pandemic preparedness plans, including in the Political Declaration being considered by the UN General Assembly.
In plans published last year, the industry proposed to reserve an allocation of real-time production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for lower-income countries to support a more equitable access in future pandemics. The plans were endorsed by the Developing Countries Vaccines Manufacturing Network and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Alongside this, governments must ensure trade restrictions do not hamper equitable roll out of vaccines and treatments, which we saw in COVID-19.
Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations said:
“When the next pandemic hits, the success of our response will depend on how well we prepared and worked together in this moment between pandemics.
“The collective challenge facing us is to deliver innovation and equity: how to incentivize the research needed to develop the vaccines and treatments we will need, and how we make sure there is equitable access to these medical countermeasures across the globe when we have them.
“It is critical that we don’t undermine what worked well in response to COVID-19 and instead strengthen the innovation ecosystem that underpins the development of new medicines and vaccines for when we need them most.”
About the IFPMA
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 ifpma.org.
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