GHTC welcomes G7 Health Ministers’ commitment to accelerating health innovation
The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) is greatly encouraged that yesterday’s G7 Nagasaki Health Ministers’ Communiqué contains strong support for investing in research and development (R&D) initiatives to strengthen pandemic preparedness, combat antimicrobial resistance, and address long-standing global health challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscored how vital the R&D of medical countermeasures (MCMs) is to addressing pandemic threats but also revealed systematic gaps in our ability to provide equitable access to the resulting tools. Thus, we applaud the G7’s support for developing an end-to-end MCM ecosystem and delivery partnership to coordinate the rapid development of and facilitate equitable, timely, and affordable global access to health tools during emergencies. We are also pleased to see the ministers voice continued commitment to the 100 Days Mission to reduce the impact of future pandemics by developing MCMs within 100 days and their recognition of the need to support regional bodies and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in strengthening R&D, clinical trial, and production capabilities. Additionally, we welcome the commitment to addressing the financing gaps of the World Bank Pandemic Fund, which has secured just US$1.6 billion in pledges against its $10.5 billion annual target, as it could prove a powerful new financial instrument to strengthen R&D and regulatory capacities in LMICs. Finally, we were encouraged to see leaders reaffirm the G7’s target of supporting at least 100 LMICs in implementing the core capacities required in the International Health Regulations for another five years until 2027, as committed in 2022, and underscore the need to strengthen existing institutions for capacity-building, including the Global Health Security Agenda.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic has diverted critical resources and attention away from battles against other long-standing global health challenges, GHTC welcomes the G7’s support for investing in the development and adoption of innovative technologies for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, as well as R&D for new antimicrobials, including contributing to existing global pooled efforts, such as the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, and SECURE. However, we are disappointed G7 leaders failed to acknowledge the importance of strengthening the end-to-end ecosystem for poverty-related and neglected diseases and recognize more explicit linkages for dual-use capacity-building for both pandemic preparedness and ongoing health threats.
Through yesterday’s communiqué, the G7 Health Ministers are sending an important signal that R&D continues to be critical for driving solutions to enduring and emerging threats. We now look to G7 nations to match this rhetoric with tangible policies and financial commitments to truly deliver a more resilient and equitable R&D ecosystem.