A number of developed countries are working to delay a landmark proposal at the World Health Organization by Italy to increase transparency of drug prices and R&D costs in an effort to make medicines more affordable, according to sources. The Italian proposal has garnered a number of supporters, including within Europe; but at an informal WHO consultation today and last week at the European Union, countries such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have begun pushing for postponement of discussions, sources said. [Now updated with new version of proposal!] Continue reading ->
Scientists from a range of countries are calling for an update to World Health Organization guidelines on biosimilar products in order to help national authorities better implement policies to make biosimilars less costly. Current guidelines are outdated and are being misused, they say. But a WHO official told Health Policy Watch the guidelines document should not be made “over-prescriptive”, and that a thorough assessment by an expert group last year found a revision unnecessary but will keep considering it. Continue reading ->
In its first meeting, a carefully chosen advisory committee of experts on gene editing under the World Health Organization this week agreed on the immediate need for a global registry of research that funders should make binding for researchers. The group acknowledged an urgency in addressing human gene editing governance in light of work already taking place, but stopped short of calling for a moratorium at this time, instead issuing a statement that it would be "irresponsible" for anyone to proceed with such research now. Continue reading ->