FIND statement on priority 2 at the third health working group of the G20 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
Hyderabad, India, 4 June 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for an agile response to accelerate development of medical countermeasures (MCMs) for health emergencies. The proposed “network of networks” can play an important role in strengthening R&D and manufacturing for vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. As others have stated in today’s session, many such initiatives are already active, particularly in diagnostics R&D and regional diagnostics manufacturing, and we should be sure to leverage existing partnerships and networks before creating new ones.

As we did under the ACT-Accelerator, FIND will continue to work with, and to coordinate with, Ministries of Health and Finance, with WHO, with our global MCM partners including the Global Fund, CEPI, Gavi, and Unitaid, with the G7 and the G20, with the diagnostics industry, and the many other stakeholders. We urge Member States to establish clear and coherent objectives, to not disrupt the tight link between R&D and manufacturing, to tighten the neglected link between pandemic preparedness and primary healthcare, to address open issues around technology transfer under the TRIPS Agreement, and to ensure adequate funding for this effort.

Ahead of the second health working group meeting in Goa, FIND, Unitaid, and the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India organized an event to collect input from 25 of the largest global and regional diagnostic manufacturers, and to develop recommendations for the path forward on regional networks. The recommendations that emerged align closely with the blueprint for regional networks put forth by the G20 Presidency and with the diagnostics Resolution adopted at the World Health Assembly on 26 May. They include efforts to:

  • Support a limited number of R&D and manufacturing hubs in geographically diverse settings
  • Support NorthSouth and SouthSouth manufacturing partnerships that facilitate technology transfer and promote equity
  • Dismantle regulatory barriers that delay the introduction of new MCMs broadly, and particularly disadvantage manufacturers based in LMICs
  • Identify a portfolio of products that already address regional pandemic and public health needs and can be transferred sustainably to LMIC manufacturers.

We are grateful to India’s G20 Presidency for its leadership on this issue. We urge Member States to take these recommendations forward for endorsement at the G20 Health Ministers’ meeting.

Keynote presentation