An mRNA technology transfer programme and economic sustainability in health care

Devika Dutt, Mariana Mazzucato, Els Torreelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The World Health Organization (WHO) set up the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology transfer programme in June 2021 with a development hub in South Africa and 15 partner vaccine producers in middle-income countries. The goal was to support the sustainable development of and access to life-saving vaccines for people in these countries as a means to enhance epidemic preparedness and global public health. This initiative aims to build resilience and strengthen local vaccine research, and development and manufacturing capacity in different regions of the world, especially those areas that could not access coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in a timely way. This paper outlines the current global vaccine market and summarizes the findings of a case study on the mRNA technology transfer programme conducted from November 2022 to May 2023. The study was guided by the vision of the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All to build an economy for health using its four work streams of value, finance, innovation and capacity. Based on the findings of the study, we offer a mission-oriented policy framework to support the mRNA technology transfer programme as a pilot for transformative change towards an ecosystem for health innovation for the common good. Parts of this vision have already been incorporated into the governance of the mRNA technology transfer programme, while other aspects, especially the common good approach, still need to be applied to achieve the goals of the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-351
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number5
Early online date27 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


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