Joint Statement – Global Innovative Health Industries Alliance

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On behalf of global biopharmaceutical and medical technologies companies, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA), the Global Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare IT & Radiation Therapy Trade Association (DITTA), and the Global Self-Care Federation (GSCF) welcome the adoption of Omnibus Resolution [1]highlighting the need for global response and effective international cooperation to ensure that no one is left behind in the race against COVID-19.

We share the view that a well-coordinated, inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach and solidarity are the only possible solutions to help solve the COVID-19 global public health emergency. We welcome the encouragement expressed in the Resolution to cooperate with the private sector, and to promote public-private partnerships to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic and its consequences, including by exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practices. As WHO’s Director General recently stated, “the private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation, and resources.” We believe that being an equal partner in all coordination efforts and actively participating in multi-stakeholder’ platforms is the only way forward.                             

We fully endorse the call to put in place a whole of government and whole of society response, with a view to sustainably strengthening the health system, social care and support systems, preparedness, and response capacities, engaging with communities and collaborating with relevant stakeholders. This pandemic showed that strengthening health systems, effective emergency preparedness, and ensure continued investments in global health are measures of critical importance. Our members are working to secure the continuity of supply for all essential medicines, and vaccines for patients with other life-threatening diseases, urging governments to implement policies and decisions that facilitate access for all those in need.

We reaffirm our commitment as an essential partner, in terms of investing in medicines, vaccines and medical technologies development and pursuing approaches to expand access, equal and fair distribution of solutions globally. Since the early days of this pandemic, private sector stakeholders responded through many initiatives aimed at providing and prioritizing delivery of needed critical products to tackle COVID-19 while also addressing research and development of innovative health technologies including preventive tools, diagnostics, treatment, medicines, and vaccines, motivated by a strong sense of responsibility to act together, in partnership with WHO and governments, to support health systems across the world in a concerted and collective response. Access to COVID-19 vaccines is a collective responsibility that calls for highly coordinated and collaborative action by public and private actors’ alike and global solidarity to solve the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully supportive of the work of the ACT-Accelerator and fully committed to the goals of the COVAX pillar to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to safe, quality effective COVID-19 vaccines, leaving no one behind.

The decades-long investments our industries have made in new technology research, underpinned by sound intellectual property protection, have prepared us to act swiftly to respond to the crisis. Our member companies are pushing the boundaries of science, developing workable solutions, and ensuring there is capacity to scale up. They are also re-directing manufacture of urgently needed products once solutions are found, while at the same time, ensuring continuity of global supply for critical products.

Focusing on these critical components, including reinforcing the mindset of systems thinking and international cooperation, will better prepare and equip our societies for future crises. Regular communication and coordination between governments and industry is the fastest and surest path to success. A strong partnership is essential now, and in the weeks and months to come.

Finally we would like to underline the full recognition given in the resolution for the critical role of and efforts made by health workers, and other frontline and essential workers, including humanitarian personnel, around the world aimed at addressing the pandemic through measures to protect the health, safety and well-being of people. Their remarkable work should serve as motivation for others who are key for tackling this pandemic.

We look forward to continuing good cooperation and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders and welcome the adoption of this overarching resolution as an impetus to strive for an open channel of communication and to working constructively to overcome obstacles and promote timely access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and after care.

Full statement here.

[1] A/RES/74/306