IFPMA Covid-19 Günlük Bülteni – 26 Mart

26.03.2020

Top news:

  • G20 leaders released an official statement after holding a videoconference urging a coordinated global response — including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank — both to contain the pandemic and to address the accompanying economic shock.
  • Dr Tedros welcomed the initiative taken by Costa Rica and calls for pooled rights to COVID-19 diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.While addressing the G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit on COVID19, he called upon countries to repurpose their industrial might to ignite innovation for vaccines and therapeutics.
  • Secretary-General António Guterres, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan, to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect the millions most at risk.
  • Pfizer and BMS announced that they were halting clinical trials in order to ease the burden on health care facilities and physicians. Roche urged to share info with Dutch corona test labs – and Roche makes antibiotics agreement, seeing beyond COVID-19 threats to public health
  • In Africa, trade talks aimed at launching the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on July 1 are now on hold.  President Kenyatta announces 80% pay cut for himself and deputy.
  • The US Senate has passed a $2.2tn emergency relief package as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the economy, marking the biggest rescue deal of its kind in US history.

VACCINE/ TREATMENT DEVELOPMENT

 IFPMA members

  • Reuters: U.S. drugmaker Pfizer pauses new studies due to coronavirus pandemic. Pfizer announced it was delaying patient recruitment in new and ongoing global trials for three weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, as drugmakers look to ease the burden on healthcare facilities and on doctors treating coronavirus patients.
  • PM Live: BMS suspends new clinical trials as COVID-19 cases rise in US. For new studies and ongoing studies, no investigation sites will be brought online until at least 13 April – a date that BMS says could well be extended – but existing sites can continue to recruit new subjects “when appropriate”.
  • Swissinfo: Novartis steps up coronavirus fight as part of new collaboration. Novartis announced that CEO Vas Narasimhan would be the co-chair of a consortium of life science companies to speed up the development and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for Covid-19. As a first step, the 15 companies that are part of the consortium have agreed to share their proprietary libraries of molecular compounds with the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator launched by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard two weeks ago.

Others

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  • Bloomberg: Opinion: Patent Protection Should Take a Backseat in a Crisis. Scott Duke Kominers believes there’s a pressing need to produce essential equipment as soon as possible. And the patent owners don’t always have the capacity to build in sufficient quantities.  Theoretically, some would propose to suspend the relevant intellectual-property rights temporarily and let anyone who wants to start producing needed goods do so when shortages crop up. That’s tempting, but it’s also probably not the right way to go.

DIAGNOSTICS

GLOBAL RESPONSE

    • We commit to take all necessary health measures and seek to ensure adequate financing to contain the pandemic and protect people, especially the most vulnerable. We will share timely and transparent information; exchange epidemiological and clinical data; share materials necessary for research and development; and strengthen health systems globally
    • We will quickly work together and with stakeholders to close the financing gap in the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. We further commit to provide immediate resources to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on a voluntary basis. We call upon all countries, international organizations, the private sector, philanthropies, and individuals to contribute to these efforts.
    • We further commit to work together to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines, leverage digital technologies, and strengthen scientific international cooperation. We will bolster our coordination, including with the private sector, towards rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines, and vaccines, adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety, equity, accessibility, and affordability.
    • We are gravely concerned with the serious risks posed to all countries, particularly developing and least developed countries, and notably in Africa and small island states, where health systems and economies may be less able to cope with the challenge, as well as the particular risk faced by refugees and displaced persons. We consider that consolidating Africa’s health defense is a key for the resilience of global health. We will strengthen capacity building and technical assistance, especially to at-risk communities. We stand ready to mobilize development and humanitarian financing.
  • Politico EU: Convening G20 leaders, King Salman calls for ‘global response’. The world’s wealthiest economies must help poorer nations confront the coronavirus crisis and accompanying economic shock, King Salman of Saudi Arabia said Thursday, opening an extraordinary videoconference of G20 leaders.
  • The Guardian: IMF calls on G20 to double emergency funding. The International Monetary Fund on Thursday asked G20 leaders to back a doubling of its emergency financing capacity to strengthen its response to the coronavirus pandemic that is set to cause a global recession in 2020. In a statement to leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, the managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the depth of the economic contraction and the speed of the recovery depended on the containment of pandemic and “how strong and coordinated our monetary and fiscal policy actions are”.

 PREPAREDNESS/CONTAINMENT

  • Bloomberg: WHO Issues a Rare Public Scolding, Saying Countries Wasting Time. Governments should stop wasting precious time needed to fight the coronavirus after squandering an opportunity to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization’s head said. “We squandered the first window of opportunity,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The time to act was actually more than a month ago or two months ago.”
  • Bloomberg: China’s Wuhan Lockdown May Delay Feared Second Wave, Study Shows. China’s long lockdown in Wuhan may have bought the country months of time before a feared second wave of coronavirus cases peaks, according to a study with implications for how long other nations may have to maintain similar restrictions. Reopening schools and businesses in April might push back the highest point of a second wave to October, giving health systems more time to prepare, researchers said in a study published in Lancet Public Health. Lifting the measures just a month earlier, in March, might have resulted in a wave of infections cresting in late August, the researchers found.
  • The Guardian: Tokyo and Hong Kong brace amid fears of fresh wave of coronavirus case. Tokyo faces further isolation measures to prevent an “explosion’ of coronavirus cases and there are calls in Hong Kong for a curfew to stop the health system collapsing amid fears of a second wave of infections in eastern Asia.

HEALTH SYSTEM CAPACITY

SUPPLY OF MEDICINES

  • Financial Times: Global rush for coronavirus drug sees India stop exports. The world’s largest exporter of generic drugs, India has recommended that its healthcare workers and high-risk individuals use the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to try to prevent Covid-19 infections. New Delhi’s actions play into wider fears in Europe about the continent’s reliance on India and China for many generic drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
  • Financial Times: Air freight shortage limits Europe’s access to coronavirus drugs. Medicines for Europe, the continent’s generics industry body, has warned that Europe is facing “severe constraints” in acquiring crucial hospital drugs needed to fight the novel coronavirus in the wake of shrinking global air freight capacity. Medicines for Europe called on the European Commission to “incentivize” the EU’s 27 member countries to use state aid to guarantee cargo capacity for medicines, pharmaceutical ingredients and medical equipment.
  • Bloomberg: Now The World’s Hospitals Are Running Out of Vital Rubber Gloves. An impending glove shortage is hitting the world, compounded by measures to contain the deadly coronavirus in a country that dominates production: Malaysia. Top Glove Corp. Bhd, the world’s largest producer, said demand from the U.S., Europe and other nations outstrips its capacity while fulfillment of orders is running as late as four months behind.

COVID-19: FOCUS ON AFRICA

WHO – Daily COVID-19 update, 26 March

No media briefing today by Dr Tedros

  • Statement by Dr. Tedros:
  • Dr. Tedros addressed the G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit on COVID19
  • He warned that without aggressive action in all countries, millions could die.
  • He reiterated that many of the drastic social and economic restrictions imposed will take some of the heat out of the epidemic, but will not extinguish it.
  • He called for a paradigm shift in global solidarity – in sharing experiences, expertise and resources, and in working together to keep supply lines open, and supporting nations who need support.
  • He further called upon countries to repurpose their industrial might to ignite innovation for vaccines and therapeutics.
  • WHO EURO updatePress conference with Hans Kluge

o   The World Health Organization says it is encouraged by the lower rate of new infection in Italy. Regional director, Hans Kluge, said: “While the situation remains very serious, we are starting to see some encouraging signs. Italy, which has the highest number of cases in the region, has just seen a slightly lower rate of increase.”

  • UN: UN launches major humanitarian appeal to keep COVID-19 from ‘circling back around the globe’. At a joint virtual press briefing, Secretary-General António Guterres, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan, to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect the millions most at risk.