Using today’s lessons on COVID-19 to strengthen our future health capabilities

CEO of Medicines Australia says while the current COVID-19 challenges must be addressed – it’s critical now to look firmly to the future and the next health event(s)

Medicines Australia Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth de Somer has urged a focus on planning for the future – reviewing and adopting the lessons being learnt and working now on setting up Australia and the world for the next pandemic/health crisis.

Speaking on Radio National’s Sunday Roundtable on Vaccine Diplomacy with Julian Morrow, Ms de Somer reiterated that while we remain in challenging times managing the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is a critical need for us seize the opportunity to adopt a future view and set ourselves up and prepare for the next health challenge.

“What is important now is while we are enduring the extreme events of COVID-19, and engaged in a collaborate search for an effective vaccine, it’s critical for us to start to plan ahead essentially for our next health event or another pandemic. We need to take on the experiences we are gathering and lessons we are learning now and strengthen our health capabilities for the future,” said Ms de Somer.

“A strong innovative position on health and a robust local industry here is a critical part of this, including clinical trial capabilities to ensure we have a very firm foundation to support local needs but also generate a solid contribution and footprint on the global stage.

“Never before has the nation’s health and economic wealth been more closely linked. Ensuring innovative healthcare delivery and solutions remains a central priority moving forward will be essential to support Australia’s road to economic recovery.

“There are currently over 165 vaccines are in research and development around the world and 27 vaccines are now in human trials.  The innovative industry is playing a very central role in vaccine development actively progressing with trial programs and setting up the large-scale manufacturing needed to support the volumes of vaccines required.

“Above everything else, ongoing collaboration, at both a global and local level, will need to be maintained. We must continue to work together now to address this unprecedented global health crisis but also to plan and prepare for the future.  The firm lessons we are learning now must ensure we build a stronger and more resilient path ahead,” concluded Ms de Somer.


More information – Natalie Wimmer –  ph: 0450728660