11:30—1:00 PM Washington DC Time

What is the Return on Investment of Pandemic Preparedness?


  • Patrick Doohan, Research Associate, Jameel Institute, Imperial College London
  • Katharina Hauck, Deputy Director of the Jameel Institute, and Professor in Health Economics, Imperial College London


  • Anne Bucher, Visiting Fellow, Bruegel
  • Sarang Deo, Professor and Executive Director, Max Institute of Healthcare Management, India Business School


  • Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development


At a CGD event in July, a team of modelers shared their estimates that there is a 47-57 percent chance of another global pandemic as deadly as COVID-19 occurring in the next 25 years. There is a clear need to more effectively prepare for future outbreak possibilities, but what is the true return on investment for pandemic preparedness?

A team at the Jameel Institute, Imperial College London conducted extensive modeling work based on an epidemiological-economic model to project the deaths and short-term GDP loss associated with potential future pandemics. Recognizing that the next pandemic might look and act very differently from SARS-Cov-2, they project outcomes for three different outbreak mitigation strategies: unmitigated, full lockdown, and reactive closures in four countries (USA, UK, China, and India) with four respiratory pathogens (COVID-like, Spanish flu-like, SARS-like, and Swine flu-like).

Their results point to pandemic preparedness as a highly cost-effective investment for protecting both health and economic well-being. They find that the number of deaths averted by investments in pandemic preparedness average between 49 and 124 per 100,000 population, depending on the country. Should a COVID-like pandemic strike the US in the next decade, they estimate that for every dollar spent on pandemic preparedness, the expected health gain in averted deaths would be $1,703 and the expected economic gain in averted GDP loss would be $1,102.

Join CGD for a discussion on what implications these findings have for policy at the national and international level, why financing the global common of pandemic preparedness now is so critical.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to events@cgdev.org, tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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