Pharmaceutical Companies Call for More Funding


Sarah Peddie

Pharmaceutical chief executives are looking for the UK Government to step up and provide substantial funding for vaccines, testing and treatment.

Executives of pharmaceutical companies are worried that without more funding and scientific guidance then they will be unable to purchase raw materials and will not be able to meet global demand.

The UK Government had announced last week that it would help out with a public-private pact for a chance to get a new vaccine into the country as quickly as possible. However, this plan is not directly putting in major funding into the pharmaceutical companies. 

The worldwide non-profit organisation - Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has a target of raising $2bn to go towards research and develop a new vaccine for coronavirus. So far, they have raised $765m but less is being done on the manufacturing side.

Chief Executives are worried that the coronavirus may follow the same pattern as previous infectious diseases like Ebola and the 2009 flu pandemic. When the crisis had ended, companies had then struggled to maintain the development of vaccines or drugs for future outbreaks due to government cuts. 

Manufacturing is just picking up in China which is the biggest supplier of raw materials for medicines but there are fears that India - who also supply materials - will be the weak link and stop production due to illness.

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