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 Current guidelines are outdated and are being misused, they say.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 ->
Universal health coverage, access to medicines, and noncommunicable diseases are priorities for Switzerland in global health policy. Amb. Nora Kronig Romero is the head of the International Affairs Division and Vice Director General of the Federal Office of Public Health, as well as Swiss Ambassador for Global Health. She sat down with Health Policy Watch while in Geneva last week for the meeting of the World Health Organization Executive Board, which Switzerland attended as an observer to the governing board comprised of 34 WHO member states. Continue reading ->
The fair pricing of medicines and the transparency of costs were underlined as key by many nongovernmental organisations last week during a discussion at the World Health Organization Executive Board on access to medicines. The Board heard about staggering numbers of people deprived of access to medication and health products, with examples from patients with epilepsy, kidney diseases and other illnesses preventing them from getting better or surviving their condition. Continue reading ->
The World Health Organization Executive Board last week heard about what the lack of access to medicines and other health services has meant in real life. These ranged from the heart-wrenching story of a baby girl needing and getting pain-killing medication to ease her life and passing to bring attention to the need for palliative care, to millions of children not getting the treatment they need to treat tuberculosis or heart diseases. Continue reading ->