FIND statement on priority 2 at the G20 health ministers’ meeting in India

Priority 2

Strengthening cooperation in pharmaceutical sector with focus on availability and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures (vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics)

Delivered by Bill Rodriguez, FIND CEO
Gandhinagar, India, 19 August 2023

Thank you, Chair.

FIND’s work under the ACT-Accelerator demonstrated clearly the truth of two propositions: first, confronting pandemic threats with Medical Countermeasures requires a global coordination mechanism, under the leadership of WHO; second, equity in access to VTDs depends fundamentally on self-sustaining, regional R&D and manufacturing capacity in LMICs.

As one example of the important role of an MCM platform, the ACT-A Diagnostics Pillar established a global network for technology transfer and infrastructure development that enabled diagnostic test manufacturers in Africa, Asia, and South America to increase manufacturing capacity to 1 billion tests per year. This globally diverse diagnostics manufacturing network remains a critical base for responding to future threats.

Efforts like this are essential, but inadequate to establish equitable access. There are persistent R&D, supply chain, regulatory, financing, and workforce issues. The result is tests for COVID and critical threats such as Ebola, Zika, mpox, and cholera remain unavailable to more than 4 billion people. In the absence of global coordination, we will allow these and emerging pandemic threats to continue to circulate undetected in half the world at our collective peril. To counter this, as a priority, we urge the G7 and G20 Member States to support the 100 Days Mission for Diagnostics proposed by CEPI and FIND.

While we eagerly await a negotiated framework on an MCM platform, our work continues. FIND continues to coordinate with global partners on diagnostics R&D, test manufacturing, regulatory reform, test procurement, and workforce development. As the negotiations progress, we urge G20 member states to not wait for the final framework, but to continue to support regional R&D and manufacturing networks. Thank you.