NovartisNovartis welcomes the decision to endorse the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP Framework) at the Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly. The PIP Framework sets out the roles and commitments of different stakeholders, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and vaccine manufacturers, in pandemic preparedness.

The PIP Framework provides additional transparency and certainty to the influenza virus and benefit-sharing process for all stakeholders. It will strengthen the WHO GISN (Global Influenza Surveillance Network), which is critical for rapid vaccine production during a pandemic outbreak. The Framework is also an important step towards affordable and equitable access to pandemic vaccines for developing countries. Public stakeholders and industry will work together to implement access strategies for low-income countries with the objective of building a sustainable supply for all. Beyond its contribution to the GISN, Novartis plans to dedicate a portion of its global pandemic manufacturing capacity to developing countries based on a tiered-pricing model.

"At Novartis we remain dedicated to working with the WHO and other stakeholders to further strengthen global pandemic preparedness." said Andrin Oswald, Head of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. "Where supported by demand for seasonal vaccines, we are collaborating with local partners to expand production capacity in developing countries. Furthermore, we continue to invest in innovation to make influenza vaccine production faster and more affordable, such as using our adjuvant technology that can increase our production output during a pandemic by up to four-fold."

As a leading vaccine manufacturer, Novartis was at the forefront of the global pandemic response efforts during the 2009 A(H1N1) influenza pandemic. In addition to facilitating access to pandemic vaccines for developing countries through a tiered-pricing model, Novartis transferred vaccine and adjuvant production technologies to enable localized production and increase global production capacity.

"We now look forward to an open dialogue with the other stakeholders and working together to achieve a comprehensive and balanced implementation of the Framework based on agreed principles," added Oswald.

About Novartis
Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, consumer health products, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2010, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 50.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.1 billion (USD 8.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world.

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