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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Pandemic treaty deadlocked amid global disagreements

Health Industry Hub | May 30, 2024 |

Pharma News: The World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus has conceded the failure of the WHO Pandemic Treaty at the start of the World Health Assembly 77. This global treaty, aimed at combating pandemics like COVID-19, has been under negotiation for more than two years.

The draft treaty sought to address the disparity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution between wealthy and developing nations. Ghebreyesus described this disparity as “a catastrophic moral failure”.

However, critics argue that the treaty would compromise national sovereignty, preventing countries from independently managing their pandemic responses.

Recent analyses indicate that developing countries would need to invest approximately $31 billion annually to meet the treaty’s basic targets for pandemic preparedness and response. This substantial financial burden could divert essential funds from existing health systems and alter national priorities.

In response to ongoing and future crises, the WHO is now seeking a $7 billion increase in its budget over four years. Yet, many countries, including Australia, the UK, and the US, are still assessing their COVID-19 responses, with some other countries having no plans in place.

“Where there is a will there is a way, so I am still positive, despite the outcome. There may be hiccups, but I don’t call it failure,” Ghebreyesus stated.

He urged people to remember the severe impacts of the pandemic and the necessity of preventing a similar scenario, even as memories of that ‘unprecedented’ period begin to fade for some.

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