2020 will long be remembered as the year of COVID-19, not only for its devastating health, social, and economic consequences around the world, but for forcing the world to consider the implications of the pandemic for solidarity and equity. It will be remembered as a year that exposed the fragility of our global system of preparedness and response to pandemics, and the fragmentation of our research and development (R&D) ecosystem. But it will also be remembered as a time of unprecedented innovation and scientific collaboration, in which the global R&D components came together and produced novel technologies and analytic tools, assessed treatments, and developed safe and effective vaccines in record time.
Yet, even with these achievements, R&D collaboration across the ecosystem fumbled and millions more could die before the essential products, such as new therapeutics or vaccines that are the fruits of the research and product development enterprise, become widely available everywhere. The successes have ignited a debate about global fairness and solidarity, and whether aspects of the R&D enterprise and its resultant products should be treated as global public goods, available and affordable in an equitable manner. Source: Urgent lessons from COVID 19: why the world needs a standing, coordinated system and sustainable financing for global research and development – The Lancet