Transforming Health Crises with Pandemic Therapies

Final Report of the CSIS Working Group on Covid-19 Therapies

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The CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security convened a working group on Covid-19 therapies in the fall of 2021 to develop policy recommendations aimed at strengthening U.S. leadership and global action to ensure development of, access to, and uptake of Covid-19 therapies worldwide. Drawing on insights gleaned through private meetings and roundtable discussions with pharmaceutical manufacturers, government officials, representatives of multilateral organizations, and nongovernmental organizations, and building on points raised in an interim report published in July 2022, the working group recommends in this final report the following:

  1. Continue research and development into a diverse set of treatment options, ensuring innovative therapeutic products are designed with the intent of reaching populations in high-, middle-, and low-income countries at the same time.
  2. Accelerate U.S. leadership and diplomacy to mobilize adequate new resources for global distribution of Covid-19 therapies.
  3. Prioritize the development of a global coordination mechanism to finance, scale, and monitor the international mobilization for Covid-19 therapies and future pandemic rapid response.
  4. Intensify the focus on strengthening health systems, including greater emphasis on primary health care, to improve the capacity of health facilities and health workers to diagnose Covid-19 infections and deliver innovative Covid-19 therapies.
  5. Accelerate the development of a comprehensive communications strategy to combat misinformation; provide accurate, independent, and accessible information; and improve patients’ and providers’ understanding of the uses and benefits of Covid-19 therapies.

For people who remain at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus infection, new Covid-19 therapies have the potential to transform a health crisis into a manageable event. Prioritizing a process that ensures all populations benefit equally and at the same time from Covid-19 therapeutic innovations can create a platform for effectively distributing therapies in future pandemics.

The CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security Working Group on Covid-19 Therapies is supported by a grant from GSK.

Katherine E. Bliss
Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center