Deal struck to help protect world from future pandemics

07 June 2022

Article: 56/2206

On 27 May 2022, the World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a resolution that aims to help developing countries increase their capacity to run their own clinical trials, helping them to test new drugs, vaccines and other health interventions for the benefit of their populations, while working across countries to respond to future pandemics more rapidly. As well as helping countries to respond faster in a public health emergency, the resolution aims to help countries tackle existing health challenges such as tuberculosis, diabetes and mental health problems.

There will also be closer collaboration between researchers on clinical trials across the world, reducing research waste, while increased transparency will mean the results of trials will be more readily shared between countries.

The resolution aims to strengthen clinical trials of all health interventions, not just drugs and vaccines, but also trials for new diagnostics, surgical procedures or behavioural interventions. The resolution further aims to develop new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines within 100 days of a new pandemic threat being identified.

The resolution urges research funders to invest in developing countries and deliver trials to tackle health problems, which disproportionately affect their populations, while also committing countries to increased international co-ordination to rapidly evaluate drugs and vaccines in any future pandemic.

Source: UK Government, 27 May 2022