The Academy has developed a working group report and submitted consultation responses regarding strategies to prevent and treat a pandemic.Launched
Faced with the threat of an influenza pandemic, governments around the world are developing strategies to prevent and treat a pandemic.
In 2005, the Academy was invited to respond to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry into 'pandemic influenza'. A wide range of Academy Fellows were consulted in preparing the inquiry response. Evidence was also drawn from the Academy's meeting with the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson FMedSci held in September 2005.
In 2006, the Academy and the Royal Society published a joint report that examined the extent to which scientific evidence was being incorporated into preparedness for a pandemic, and identified areas where scientific input into policy development and contingency planning operations needed to be considered further.
Following the publication of the report, the Academy and Royal Society held a follow-up symposium in November 2007. The symposium highlighted recent advances in our understanding of avian influenza, antiviral drug resistance, human vaccine development and epidemiology and addressed how scientific evidence had informed development of the UK framework for responding to an influenza pandemic. The symposium bought together academics, stakeholders and policymakers for an active discussion, including presentations by leading researchers in the field.
Sir John Skehel FRS FMedSci (Chair)
National Institute for Medical Research
Professor Neil Ferguson OBE FMedSci
Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London
Professor Barry Furr OBE FMedSci
Consultant Scientist and formerly Chief Scientist Astra Zeneca
Dr John McCauley
Institute of Animal Health
Professor Andrew McMichael FRS FMedSciWeatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford
Professor Karl Nicholson
Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Leicester
Professor Albert OsterhausDepartment of Virology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam
Professor Geoffrey Schild CBE FMedSci
Former Director of the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
Mr Richard StubbinsPandemic planning subgroup, UK Vaccine Industry Group and Sanofi Pasteur MSD
Professor David Read FRS (Chair)
Biological Secretary & Vice-President, The Royal Society
Professor Angela McLean
Department of Zoology & Institute for Emergent Infections of Humans, University of Oxford
Professor Ian Newton OBE FRS
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Professor Geoffrey Smith FRS FMedSci
Department of Virology, Imperial College London
Professor Nicholas White OBE FRS FMedSci
Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand
The Pandemic Influenza working group considered the following questions:
How does the scientific understanding (basic research to clinical application) of avian and pandemic influenza, in the short and long term, impact on:
1. Treatment: the use of existing and development of new drugs and vaccines.
2. Clinical care: diagnosis, basic understanding of the diseases; infection control; transmission.
3. Strategies and preparedness for an outbreak: modelling and surveillance.
What lessons can be learnt from other disease outbreaks and more general public emergencies, and the associated emergency planning responses?
How are wider ethical social and regulatory issues, including those associated with the development of new technologies or treatments influencing current policymaking and future preparedness?
How is the scientific evidence (academic, public or commercial) being incorporated into policy making?