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 ->
Over the past year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has rolled out the latest version of its benchmarking tool for evaluating progress of national regulatory authorities towards meeting WHO quality assurance targets. This benchmarking tool applies a more transparent and systematic approach than previous versions, and was developed through “extensive” consultation with member states and the public. Continue reading ->
Shortages, faulty supply chains, unbearable prices, weak health systems - the issue of access to medicines is multifaceted and gave way to a long list of interventions yesterday at the World Health Organization. Challenged on its mandate to address intellectual property and trade issues, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Gheyebresus (Dr Tedros) confirmed that WHO’s mandate includes work with partners on those issues. Discussions also included fair pricing and transparency, for which Italy called for a resolution at the next World Health Assembly. Continue reading ->
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today announced the launch of the "Pandemic Response Box", which offers researchers free access to 400 compounds that could lead to development of new treatments for pandemic diseases. In return, researchers "will be expected to share data resulting from research on the molecules from the box in the public domain within 2 years of its generation." Continue reading ->
Poliomyelitis, a highly infectious and sometimes debilitating viral disease, is about to be eradicated from the world. However, the last mile is the hardest, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week at a member state discussion on polio eradication. Beyond the direct eradication of wild polioviruses in the three last endemic countries, and the steady supply of affordable inactivated poliovirus vaccines, the WHO is being called on to help countries keep the virus at bay, and implement a strategy to use polio-related structures to strengthen their national health systems, as polio funding is dwindling. Continue reading ->
World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Dr Tedros) today explained details of fundamental changes being set in motion at the UN agency, including greater impact, increased staff work and training at the country level, producing 'world class' work, more transparency, and digital health and innovation. In his opening remarks to the WHO Executive Board, he listed recent accomplishments and devoted significant attention to staffing issues at a time when unconfirmed reports of alleged misconduct have been circulating. Continue reading ->