Pandemic Preparedness. How will the international accord help respond to unforeseen shocks?

On March 23 2023, Science|Business – in partnership with Sanofi – organised a roundtable discussion with international experts -representing industry at large, academia, public health bodies, multilateral organisations, think tanks, government officials and research organisations- to discuss how to prepare for future pandemics. This paper summarises the discussions and key recommendations arising from this roundtable. It is ultimately a product of Science|Business, and as such the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of individual members of its Network.

The COVID-19 crisis profoundly transformed the health policy landscape and collaboration mechanisms in Europe and the rest of the world. In March 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision to authorise the opening of negotiations for an international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, while Canada, New Zealand and other countries have consulted citizens on how to prepare for future pandemics. It is now up to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to draft the future pandemic accord, within the framework of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The INB is expected to deliver a progress report to the World Health Assembly in 2023, and a draft agreement in May 2024.