Experts Call For Global Accountability Mechanism For Access To Essential Medicines

Global health experts, including senior officials at the World Health Organization, are calling for a global accountability mechanism for access to essential medicines, noting that a the lack of data on medicines affordability and national pharmaceutical expenditures has hindered this process, according a recent article published in UK medical journal The Lancet.

“The focus of accountability should move away from measuring only availability of medicines towards the effectiveness, quality, and efficiency of patient-centred comprehensive primary care services, which encompasses equitable access to essential medicines,” they said.

Authors include WHO Deputy Director General Mariângela Simão and WHO Director of Essential Medicines and Health Products Suzanne Hill, along with an array of academics and other experts.

The article stated that “high-level discussions between WHO, the Lancet Commission, other UN agencies, and NGOs have led to the identification of four priorities to ensure the development of a global Accountability Mechanism for Access to Essential Medicines.”

It listed these priorities as: the need for high-level political support, the strategic collection and use of data for decision-making, the adoption of new technologies for data collection, and the need for more global advocacy.

The Health Data Collaborative was highlighted in the article as a leader in applying health data towards improved accountability.