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LONDON — Companies that make vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests for influenza will become key stakeholders in the World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Surveillance Network under an agreement reached at the Open Ended Working Group that WHO coordinated to support global preparedness for a future influenza pandemic.
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline heralded the agreement, under which companies will increase their financial contributions to the GISN to enable the network’s geographical expansion and support technical improvements to accelerate the start of vaccine production, thus allowing them to deliver vaccines more quickly.
“This framework agreement is a critical step in ensuring that the world, including developing countries, is able to prepare properly and equitably for any future pandemic,” GSK CEO Andrew Witty said. “I applaud the leadership of WHO. Member states and the industry have demonstrated a shared commitment to addressing global needs and an ability to work together and compromise.”