Catherine Saez

Six international organizations pledge collaboration on local production of medicines

The World Health Organization, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UNAIDS, UNICEF, and the Global Fund co-signed the “Interagency statement on promoting local production of medicines and other health-related technologies.”

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Future of drug pricing resolution hangs in balance at World Health Assembly

23 May: The fate of a potentially game-changing World Health Assembly resolution that would support greater national and global transparency in drug pricing remained in the balance today as the country co-sponsors tabled a resolution riddled with comments and caveats, and a “drafting group” was urgently formed to huddle on ways to move forward on a compromise text.

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Study: TRIPS flexibilities widely used by countries, contrary to reports

Despite the widespread view that the flexibilities included in international trade rules are not often used, a new study found that countries make extensive use of those flexibilities.

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Access to medicines for all by 2030: New WHO strategic framework sets vision

Access to affordable and quality medicines for all is one of the major commitments of the World Health Organization, and its new medicines and health products strategic framework for the next 15 years calls for new research and development (R&D) models, including delinkage of the R&D costs from the price of products, and fair pricing.

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Antimicrobial resistance needs new R&D models, NGOs say

A group of non-governmental organisations organised a side event to the World Health Assembly to discuss the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance, the way to incentivise research and development for new antibiotics, and the imperative of affordability and accessibility of new products. The speakers mentioned alternative models, such as delinking the cost of research from the price of the medicines, underlined the high prices of vaccines, and the importance of systems of infection prevention and control.

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WHO studies on local pharma production provide key contrasts between China, India

Two new studies published by the World Health Organization provide insight on the production of pharmaceutical products in India and China. According to the studies, China has a substantial local pharmaceutical manufacturing sector which the Chinese government is closely linking to its policy objective of universal health care. India, the main global provider of generic medicines is not pursuing a comparable focus on universal health care. India is increasingly faced with Chinese pharmaceutical sector competition, with China being its main provider of commoditized active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

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WHO, stakeholders take ‘first step’ on fair pricing for medicines

The World Health Organization has concluded a major one-day forum on fair pricing of medicines, bringing a wide range of stakeholders together in Amsterdam and coming up with several possible actions for the way ahead. Key points of discussion included a definition of fair pricing, moving away from value-based pricing, delinkage of price from research and development costs, and greater transparency, according to participants.

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German-backed report lays out strategy for R&D into new antibiotics

In the face of the lack of attractiveness of investing in research for new antibiotics for the pharmaceutical industry, and the general lack of funding for research and development for novel antibiotics, a new report commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Health calls for countries to take action. In particular, the report proposes a global union for research and development, a global research fund, and a global launch reward. And access and pricing are key components of the strategy, it says.

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New alliance to hold UN and others accountable for antimicrobial resistance commitments

A new international alliance to support the United Nations Resolution on Antimicrobial Resistance was launched this week (November 14-18). The Conscience of Antimicrobial Resistance Accountability (CARA) aims to bring together organisations committing to reporting on mutually agreed upon indicators in countries around the world, and to hold the UN and other stakeholders accountable to their commitments.

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Access to Medicine Index 2016 released

The Access to Medicine Index 2016 was published today (November 14), analysing the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies. The index looks at how those companies make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics more accessible in low- and middle-income countries. The index found progress in companies’ efforts to improve access but little support for flexibilities enshrined in international trade rules.

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