Building Pandemic Preparedness
All countries face risks and potential health threats from an increasing range of factors including infectious diseases, food contamination and threats associated with climate change, extreme weather events and deforestation. Strengthening prevention and preparedness activities can pre-emptively avoid outbreaks, or contain them early on, reduce the possibility of conflicts becoming complex humanitarian health crises, and mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2023 High-level Meeting (HLM) on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response is a unique opportunity for global leaders to place health high on the political agenda and commit to bolstering resilient health systems for pandemic preparedness.
At Viatris, we are working with stakeholders across the globe to prepare for future pandemics. The work includes understanding how healthcare providers and systems can better help patients and respond to the needs of communities.
Building resilient health systems that can meet patient needs on an ongoing basis and respond rapidly and equitably to surges of infectious disease is critical. Our diverse efforts to advance this preparation include the following:
- Viatris represents the private sector on the Board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, a unique public-private partnership and one of the largest international financing mechanisms for healthcare delivery. The Global Fund comprises 30% of the international financing for HIV programs, 75% for TB programs and 60% for malaria programs.1 In response to COVID-19, the Global Fund also became a primary funder of programs for COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness in low-income countries. The unique partnership model of the Global Fund brings together the public and private sectors with impacted communities to develop people-centered access solutions.
- Viatris has worked to understand not only the physical health effects of the pandemic, but also the mental effects. For example, in Brazil we sponsored a study of more than 2,000 workers of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing. The research was conducted by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation and the University of São Paulo. The findings are being used to help shape mental health and oncology policies as well as raise awareness of the important role of patient involvement.
- Building on our work born from the pandemic that identified gaps and potential solutions for integrating care of HIV and NCDs, we leveraged our partnership with the NCD Alliance in 2022 to advocate and raise awareness of the issues at events including the UN Global Assembly (UNGA) 2022 and the International AIDS Society annual conference. We helped develop an advocacy toolkit targeted at national and regional NCD alliances to unlock local funding for NCDs and its comorbidities.
- We collaborated in Japan with Minacare and a specialist in health, health policy and internal medicine on the first study investigating the changes in physician visits and medication prescriptions for NCDs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings will inform decision makers about the management of NCDs in future pandemics.
For more information, see our 2022 Sustainability Report.