WHO and GSK conclude SMTA2

WHO significantly increased its ability to assist developing countries prepare for influenza pandemics thanks to the signing of an agreement on 18 December, 2012 with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to make pandemic vaccines and antivirals available in real time.

This agreement falls under a Framework agreement that was adopted by the 194 countries of WHO in May 2011. GSK is the first company to commit to providing WHO with 10% of pandemic influenza vaccines as they come off the production line. This real-time access ensures that developing countries in need will have access to vaccines through the WHO at the same time as other countries. GSK has also committed to providing access to 10 million treatment courses of antiviral medicine.

“The signing of this agreement with GSK is a major milestone for global public health. It will help level the playing field in terms of preparedness, and make access to life-saving vaccines and medicines by people in developing countries at the time of a pandemic much more equitable,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment. Similar negotiations with other manufacturers are in progress.

Preparing for future influenza pandemics

Addressing global challenges like pandemics, and achieving fair and equitable access by all countries to critical supplies of vaccines and drugs can only succeed with the broad participation and commitment of all stakeholders, including governments, industry, and civil society. The PIP Framework is unique in its reach to bring these key stakeholders together.

Dr Fukuda added, “This milestone reflects the unique partnership that WHO has been able to forge with the PIP Framework’s many stakeholders and is proof that solidarity in global health preparedness and response is possible”.

Background on the PIP Framework

The PIP Framework is an international health accord adopted by all 194 Member States of WHO in 2011.

In 2007, the 60th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the Director-General to convene an intergovernmental meeting to develop mechanisms aimed at ensuring the continued sharing of influenza viruses with pandemic potential, and the fair and equitable access to benefits arising from such sharing. Over the course of the next four and half years, Member States met extensively, both formally and informally, to negotiate what became the PIP Framework.

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