Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) has raised global concern and as of 4 August 2009, more than 170,000 cases with 1428 deaths have been reported globally to the WHO. In response, many ongoing studies and projects are attempting to describe this pandemic in more detail with respect to virology, epidemiology and clinical management. The Lancet organized an international conference in Beijing, China on 22-23 August 2009, immediately after the International Scientific Symposium on Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic Response and Preparedness, which was organized by the Ministry of Health, China. The aim of the Lancet conference was to update scientific knowledge about both seasonal and pandemic influenza. This conference also attempted to provide an insight into fundamental public health and operation strategies to mitigate the impact of seasonal and pandemic influenza within the Asia-Pacific region. In this article, the authors have tried to summarize this conference and discuss future prospects of pandemic preparedness and response.