The economics of pandemic preparedness: Trade-offs in peacetime and pandemics


The Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (Jameel Institute) hosts a day of panels and breakout discussions focused on how to navigate the trade-offs in investment between pandemic preparedness and the surveillance, prevention and management of endemic infectious diseases. Organised in collaboration with Imperial College London's Institute of Infection and Business School, the programme includes talks from a range of organisational, discipline and global perspectives as well as break-out sessions.

George Richards, director of Community Jameel, chairs a panel discussion titled 'Tradeoffs in peacetime and pandemics' exploring how different disciplines can coordinate in an emergency situation and what investments are priority in order to prepare for pandemics and to respond to them.

Confirmed speakers and panelists include Jonathan Haskel (Bank of England, Imperial College London), Els Torreele (WHO Council on the Economics of Health For All, UCL), Susan Michie (UCL Centre for Behaviour Change), Ifedayo Adetifa (General director, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), Edith Patouillard (WHO Department of Health Financing and Economics) and John Edmunds (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AG
In-person & online
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Jonathan Haskel

Chair in economics, Imperial College Business School

Edith Patouillard

Health economist, WHO Global Malaria Programme

Els Torreele

Independent consultant; Visiting fellow, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, UCL

Susan Michie

Professor of health psychology; Director, UCL Centre for Behaviour Change

Ifedayo Adetifa

General director, Nigeria CDC

John Edmunds

Professor of infectious disease modelling, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

George Richards

Director, Community Jameel



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About the event

Pandemics and epidemics can lead to great loss of life - and they are costly to fight. In 2018, epidemics reportedly cost the world $60 billion a year. Why are pandemic prevention and preparedness underfunded? Pandemic preparedness competes with other urgent policy priorities. Severe pandemics are uncommon and unpredictable, but election cycles of policymakers are short. The full benefits of investment in pandemic prevention and preparedness will extend well beyond election cycles, and even the lifetime of policymakers. And the question arises: in what to invest? There is weak evidence on which pandemic preparedness and prevention activities generate the greatest returns, and they are likely to vary between  countries of different income levels.

The objective of this workshop is to hold a debate that informs policy and research priorities for pandemic prevention and preparedness, recognising that budgets are limited, and tough choices must be made in the trade-offs between population health and the economy.

09:30-10:00 - Registration and coffee

10:00-10:10 - Introduction and opening remarks | Professor Katharina Hauck and Professor Charles Bangham

10:10-10:30 - Professor Jonathan Haskel | Bank of England and Imperial College, London

10:30-10:45 - Professor John Edmunds | London  School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

10:45-11:00 - Professor Susan Michie | Professor  of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change

11:00-11:20 - Break

11:20-11:35 - Dr Ifedayo Adetifa | Former  Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

11:35-11:50 - Dr Els Torreele | Independent  Researcher and Advisor, Geneva, Switzerland and Visiting Fellow, UCL  Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

11:50-12:05 - Professor Edith Patouillard | WHO  Dept. of Health Financing and Economics

12:05-13:05 - Panel  discussion | Chair: George Richards, Community Jameel

13:05-13:30 - Questions from the audience

In-person attendance only:

13:30-14:30 - Lunch

14:35-15:35 - Breakout  sessions/workshops discussions

15:35-16:05 - Round up

16:05-16:10 - Closing words

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