Switzerland, considered to be one of the richest countries in the world and home to significant medical research and development, has begun feeling the pressure of high drug prices for its citizens. This has led it to begin talking with other countries exploring joint procurement initiatives aimed at lowering prices, the Swiss global health ambassador told Health Policy Watch in a recent interview. 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 ->
A substantive discussion took place at the World Health Organization Executive Board meeting yesterday in response to a recently released WHO report on cancer drug pricing. Among the variety of perspectives expressed, many formed consensus in calling for increased transparency of research and development (R&D) costs and equitable access to innovative cancer drugs. Continue reading ->
The World Health Organization Executive Board is being asked this week to consider a steep budget increase to cover the ambitious new “Transformation Plan” of Director General Tedros Adhanom Gheyebresus, which aims to improve the health of at least 3 billion people by 2025. The 8 percent budget hike requested for 2020-2021 will be reviewed by the Board along with a range of critical policy issues when it meets for its 144th session from 24 January-1 February. Here's what you need to know to follow the action. Continue reading ->