The first Health Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency took place in Thiruvananthapuram, India. Charles Gore, Executive Director, MPP, delivered the following statement in response to Priority 2: Strengthening Cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector with Focus on Availability & Access to Safe, Effective, Quality and Affordable Medical Countermeasures – VTDs (Vaccines, Therapeutics & Diagnostics).

“The Medicines Patent Pool is grateful to the government of India and G20 for this opportunity [to address the meeting].  Our statement is based on our experience facilitating access to medicines in LMICs for over 10 years, including COVID antivirals, and co-leading with WHO the mRNA vaccine Technology Transfer programme.

One key way to achieve greater equity in access to countermeasures is to ensure that there are qualified manufacturers across multiple locations with the capacity and commitment to manufacture and supply quality-assured products rapidly and at affordable prices.  Having already in place a pre-selected network of manufacturers can save time during a crisis. We would be interested in Member States’ response to this idea. Licensing and technology transfer to these manufacturers needs to take place as early as possible and certainly before the effectiveness of the products is established. This requires investment at risk so Support from funders could be vitally important; and market shaping activities like volume guarantees can also be important to prioritize development.  Finally, streamlined regulatory processes are essential.  We believe that many of these actions need to be put in place now, using as far as possible existing mechanisms to ensure they are fit-for-purpose when a health emergency hits.  MPP is happy to support the G20 countries and WHO during this process.”