Inequitable access to the fruits of research during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgency — and feasibility — of overhauling the R&D system.

COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are powerful reminders: health technologies can help to shape the way in which societies control disease. Challenges in ensuring global, equitable access to these fruits of biomedical research and development (R&D) during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the urgency of reorienting the system towards the public interest. The first step is a clearer articulation of what R&D in the global public interest is. That is what we seek to do here.

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