Urgent lessons from COVID 19: why the world needs a standing, coordinated system and sustainable financing for global research and development
March 9, 2021
Nicole Lurie, MD; Gerald T Keusch, MD; Victor J Dzau, MD
In order to attain a quick, organized, and equitable global Research and Development (R&D) preparedness system, this health policy paper assessed the advancements of R&D since 2010 and highlighted the significant gaps which have become apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. While global R&D did produce COVID-19 tests and vaccines incredibly quickly, the authors identify many gaps in the existing R&D system and provide suggestions for ways to improve upon those activities for the future. To identify a few, some of the suggested priorities were to collect and share virus samples and biological reference material universally, further develop animal models, and develop robust epidemiologic and surveillance procedures. The authors also provided additional recommendations on product development, touching on diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, manufacturing and coordination mechanisms, collaborative financing mechanisms, teased out allocation and distribution mechanisms, and emergency stockpiles of protective and other necessary medical equipment. One of the most important gaps identified was the need for accessible global financing, allowing for worldwide capacity building and the ability to quickly activate or scale down R&D activities as necessary. In addition, the authors emphasize the need for a global network to ensure equitable access to R&D products, such as tests, therapies, or vaccines. While the authors acknowledge that next steps will be politically challenging, they are necessary to ensure the world will be better prepared for the future.
Lurie N, Keusch GT, Dzau VJ. Urgent lessons from COVID 19: why the world needs a standing, coordinated system and sustainable financing for global research and development. Lancet (London, England) 2021; 0. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00503-1.