Webinar: Investment in quality local production to address supply bottlenecks related to the pandemic

23 April 2020
15:00-16:30 hrs.

2020-04-23_cOVID-19_400X228.jpgCOVID-19 has amplified the vulnerability of global pharmaceutical production chains. The supply of most active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), generic formulations and vaccines is concentrated in a few countries.

Some countries are experiencing serious disruptions of their supply chains for potential COVID-19 treatments and personal protective equipment (PPE). Many producers in low income countries depend on the importation of APIs for their own production.

In the area of vaccines, limited existing production capacity has prompted some countries to aim at local production to ensure uninterrupted supply.

As a reaction, there is increased discussion within the industry of the need for decentralized manufacturing.

The UNCTAD and the World Health Organization (WHO) have organized this Webinar to exchange views and identify potential areas to scale up investment and diversify the production and supply chain of medicines, vaccines and medical equipment.

Discussion organized under three themes:

  1. What are the domestic capacities of low-income country producers in respect of current COVID-19 candidates and vaccine production?

  2. What measures are necessary to scale up investment in domestic capacity to ensure quality and sustainability of production?

  3. What is the role of development partners?

The meeting will be held in a roundtable mode. It will be moderated by UNCTAD and WHO and involve policymakers, industry representatives and other development stakeholders.


Opening remarks:

  • James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

  • Emer Cooke, Director, Regulation and Prequalification Department, WHO

Roundtable discussion of the three themes outlined above.


  • Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, Secretary, Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (FAPMA)

  • Morena Makhoana on behalf of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN)

  • Jennifer Gache, Industrial Development Advisor, Industrial Development Department, East African Community, Secretariat

  • Chutima Akaleephan, Senior Pharmacist and Senior Researcher, International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

  • Karim Bendhaou, Chair of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) Africa Engagement Committee

  • Jude Nwokike, Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM+) Program Director, US Pharmacopeia


  • Christoph Spennemann, UNCTAD, Jicui Dong, WHO

Closing remarks by the moderators

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