A group of 16 drugmakers and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation signed a joint statement Sept. 30 promising that future COVID-19 therapies and vaccines will be distributed equally across the globe.
“COVID-19’s existence anywhere poses a threat to communities everywhere,” the statement said.
The drugmakers that signed the statement are: AstraZeneca, Bayer, bioMérieux, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Merck KGaA, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi.
The companies said they have launched the most “expansive and ambitious” pandemic research and development response in history and promised a range of interventions to help end the pandemic.
The pledge includes promises to:
- * Develop innovations for patients worldwide
- * Strive for timely availability of diagnostics, therapies and vaccines
- * Enable affordability for lower income countries
- * Support effective and equitable distribution of these innovations globally
- * Maintain public confidence in their innovations
The joint statement also calls on government, multilateral institutions, companies, nongovernmental organizations and others to:
- * Provide sufficient, dedicated, sustainable, timely funding
- * Diversify representation in decision-making committees
- * Continue quickly developing and communicating clear guidance
- * Advance fit-for-purpose regulatory and liability processes for all stakeholders
- * Build and maintain public confidence
- * Enhance country readiness and in-country delivery systems
“The world’s extraordinary situation requires unprecedented collaboration across every part of society,” the companies wrote.