CSL welcomes historic pandemic agreement and pledges further support for developing countries

CSL welcomes historic pandemic agreement and pledges further support for developing countries

Melbourne, Australia — 20/05/2011

CSL Biotherapies welcomes news of a decision by the World Health Assembly to adopt the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the Sharing of Influenza Viruses and Access to Vaccines and Other Benefits.

The Framework is the culmination of several years work by a dedicated working group of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and paves the way for greater global collaboration between public and private stakeholders in preparing the world for possible future influenza pandemics.

“With the continuing risk of an influenza pandemic with potentially devastating impacts, the adoption of this framework is a wonderful achievement for public health. We congratulate the WHO and member country governments, including Australia, and look forward to continuing to work with all parties to develop an effective implementation plan” said Dr Brian McNamee, CEO and Managing Director of CSL Limited.

The Framework establishes the principles by which international agencies, governments and biopharmaceutical manufacturers will collectively contribute to strengthening global pandemic preparedness, building on key learnings from the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic and utilising the significant investments and contributions that industry and other stakeholders already make.

“We were pleased to meet our long-standing commitments to Australia during the H1N1 pandemic and to make vaccine available in many other countries, including some of the poorest. As part of the new Framework, we will work towards committing at least 10% of our real-time vaccine output to the WHO to further improve access in developing countries,” said Dr McNamee.

CSL operates the largest influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere. The Company plays a significant role in pandemic preparedness and response in Australia, and is able to leverage its capabilities and capacity to quickly produce pandemic vaccine for both local and global markets. CSL was one of the first companies in the world to develop the H1N1 pandemic vaccine, conduct clinical trials and make vaccine available for public use.

“Pandemics can have devastating economic and social consequences, particularly in developing countries which are more vulnerable. In addition to our vaccine pledge, CSL will also look for unique ways to directly assist developing countries with their pandemic preparedness activities”, said Dr McNamee.

Under the Framework, Industry will increase its contributions to the Global Influenza Surveillance Network, ensuring viruses with pandemic potential are rapidly detected, analysed, shared and used to produce higher quantities of vaccines at greater speed if needed.  Manufacturers will also choose from a range of measures designed to improve timely and affordable access to pandemic vaccines in developing countries, many of which are already underway.

The Framework also includes a commitment by member countries of the WHO to develop strategies to ensure rapid deployment of treatments and vaccines in the event of pandemic. This includes harmonisation of regulations, improving logistics and health delivery systems, and improving education and awareness, particularly amongst those who are most at risk.

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Media Contact:
Sharon McHale
Senior Director, Public Affairs
Phone: +61 3 9389 1506
Mobile: +61 409 978 314
Email: sharon.mchale@csl.com.au
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