The World Health Assembly (WHA), which is the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved a landmark resolution at its recently concluded 72nd session in Geneva to support greater public disclosure of prices of medicines and other health products.
The resolution known to many as the ‘transparency resolution’ was sponsored by 19 countries including Brazil, Italy, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg, India and Sri Lanka.
The resolution considered “game-changing” by senior officials of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) urges governments to share information on actual prices paid for health products, and pushes for greater transparency on patients, research data and commercial information such as sales volumes affecting pricing of medicines from laboratories to patients.
It also requests the Director General of the WHO to support implementation of the resolution through many interventions such as collecting and analyzing economic data for health products, monitor the impact of transparency on affordability and availability of medicines and assist countries, especially low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), to develop national policies for “rapid and timely adoption of generic and biosimilar medicines into respective health systems”.
The resolution is based on the need to tackle the issue of lack of transparency in the pharmaceutical sector and in particular how the industry arrives at price formation. According to Prof. Asita de Silva, Chairman, National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), the current lack of information “creates confusion about basic facts related to prices, research and development costs and other aspects of the development and supply chain for medicines, which ultimately threatens patient access to medicine.”
The resolution is based on the need to tackle the issue of lack of transparency in the pharmaceutical sector and in particular how the industry arrives at price formation