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 ->
A massive restructuring of WHO’s 2020-2021 budget should see a shift away from siloed disease control programmes to a more integrated approach, focused on building health systems and strengthening country operations. These were the key strategic features of the proposed budget of US$ 4.785 billion, reviewed by WHO’s Executive Board in a lengthy session today. Continue reading ->
A report launched jointly today by Population Services International (PSI), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the World Health Organization shows that people’s knowledge of their HIV status in sub-Saharan African countries nearly doubled just four years after self-testing programmes were introduced. Separately, a group of French NGOs called on the French President to lead elimination of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030. Continue reading ->
A global index on access to medicine has found that the majority of the medicines needed by the world’s poor are developed by only five companies, and that these medicines are focused primarily on just five diseases. The group behind the index calls on more pharmaceutical companies to join efforts for increased access and to expand the list of medicines, in order to build resilience in treating diseases that affect the poor. Continue reading ->
Clemens Martin Auer, director general of Austria’s Ministry of Health, could be said to take a pragmatic and original perspective when it comes to European and national policy. In an interview with Health Policy Watch during the recent European Health Forum in Bad Gastein, Austria, he discussed health priorities for the current Austrian presidency of the European Union and beyond. He also discussed ongoing efforts by a number of European countries to address high prices of medicines and public funding for R&D. This is the second of two parts. Continue reading ->