Global talks have begun on drafting new health rules for combating pandemics, and developing nations are lobbying for fairer access to treatments than they got during COVID-19. But they worry that the odds of a favourable outcome from a scheduled 18 months of negotiations at the World Health Organization (WHO) are already stacked against them, as they lack the negotiating firepower of wealthier countries.

An alliance of companies has pledged to ensure equitable access to vaccines and treatments for pandemics, as the friction around intellectual property rights for COVID-19 interventions between the pharmaceutical industry and developing nations endures.