On 25 January 2024, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered this statement on WHO’s work in health emergencies.
There is an ongoing need to make investments in countermeasures to tackle possible pandemics.
The current systems of incentives for drug development are inadequate, given the uncertainty of the demand for countermeasures.
Public sector funding of R&D is needed, as well as incentives delinked from high prices or monopolies.
The two primary challenges as regards the pandemic agreement are:
(1) a global framework to share the costs of funding R&D, and
(2) agreement on financing approaches that are consistent with the objectives of timely, affordable and equitable access.
The agreement also needs to provide incentives to open-source the science, technology, inventions, data and cell lines and manufacturing know-how for countermeasures. For these, we endorse the Open Source Dividend, and technology buy-out approaches.