The ongoing war in Ukraine is having a devastating human impact, and undeniably impacts the G7 agenda – not least in terms of public health priorities. Protecting public health and easing human suffering require a global and united response from governments, industry and non-governmental partners.

Global health architecture

The COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the need to work together in times of crisis and how global cooperation is necessary to ensure pandemic preparedness. Now is the time to look at lessons learned from recent experiences.

During the pandemic, as we faced an unprecedented challenge, the global processes for developing, approving, and using COVID-19 therapies struggled to keep up with the pace of demand in some parts of the world. A lack of shared understanding between regulators, clinicians, researchers, policymakers and medicine developers about priorities and the best treatment options slowed early progress.

To be better prepared for future pandemics, Lilly believes that global leaders must work toward an approach that enables efficient and coordinated information sharing and priority-setting.

For example, a global expert group that can be rapidly mobilised would be able to provide cohesive and consistent guidance. Establishing regulatory pathways for authorizing medical treatments for emergency use in a pandemic could also contribute to ensuring more equal access to therapies and medicines across nations.

From a German perspective, we particularly see many opportunities in digitalisation in the healthcare sector, to enable faster and more targeted medical research and information exchange as well as more efficient use of resources.

Focus on tackling antimicrobial resistance

At Lilly, we welcome the German G7 Presidency’s focus and goal to step up efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

This year, a new study analysing 204 countries and territories found that AMR killed 1.27 million people in 2019, and played a role in 4.95 million deaths globally. Previous reports[1] have estimated 700,000 deaths per year and forecasted reaching 10 million by 2050, suggesting the threat of AMR is increasing.

Lilly cares deeply about addressing this global health threat. We played a central role in developing and launching the AMR Action Fund. This Fund will support clinical research of innovative new antibiotics for the most resistant bacteria and life-threatening infections and has invested more than $1 billion to bring 2 to 4 new antibiotics to patients by 2030.

However, meeting this challenge cannot be achieved by industry alone. We need market conditions that enable sustainable investments in the antibiotic pipeline.

We believe that with stronger cooperation between policy makers, medical stakeholders, and industry to improve the global health architecture, we can improve our global pandemic preparedness, and become more resilient in managing other health emergencies, from the acute crises of human conflict and war to the more subtle but also serious threat of antimicrobial resistance.

[1] Jim O’Neill. 2014 ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis for the Health and Wealth of Nations. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance’. HM Government and Wellcome Trust