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 ->
Katy Athersuch, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Senior Policy Advisor – Medical Innovation & Access, spoke to Health Policy Watch about the recent proposal by Italy’s Minister of Health, Giulia Grillo, for a World Health Assembly resolution on transparency in drug pricing (Health Policy Watch 18 February). The far-reaching proposal asks countries to require disclosure by pharmaceutical companies of their R&D and, manufacturing costs, and public subsidies received, at the time a drug is registered. The resolution would also strengthen WHO’s role in global monitoring and assessment of available data on the costs and pricing of essential medicines. This is the first in a series of Q&As on the issue, looking towards April’s Fair Pricing Forum, where WHO member states will convene in South Africa, followed by the annual World Health Assembly in May. Continue reading ->