Plenary Session 2: Negotiating fair pricing – opportunities, powers, promises

Over the last decade, there has been a call for greater transparency in pharmaceutical markets to support national decisions regarding the selection, reimbursement, and pricing of essential medicines. In 2019, 194 Member States of the WHO adopted the ‘Transparency Resolution’ (WHA resolution 72.8) that urges Member States to take steps to publicly share information on the net prices of health products (official/list prices less rebates and discounts) and calls on Member States to work collaboratively to improve the reporting by suppliers of sales revenue, prices, units sold, marketing costs, investments and subsidies. Though the resolution expressed a high level of commitment and support from Member States, the progress toward achieving its objectives has been uneven and limited.

All countries face budget constraints and an ever-increasing demand for quality health care, including access to effective, safe and affordable medical treatments. However, inequities and gaps in access are often the largest in many low and middle-income countries where public health insurance or other public sector schemes have limited capacity to provide all the necessary coverage for essential medicines. Many of these countries are exploring different pricing policies/operational changes to achieve desired efficiencies and the best possible health outcomes, given their limited budgets.

How pricing can be negotiated in this changing context is the topic of the roundtable. A successful strategy to achieve fair pricing assures new medicines are affordable to health systems, allows for an acceptable profit margin that maintains incentives for further innovation, fair access to pricing data and other information, and will necessitate cooperation among sellers, buyers and other stakeholders. Participants in this roundtable will consider obstacles and potential solutions for strategies that can encourage buyers and sellers to negotiate fair prices that are affordable over the long term to provide the necessary health coverage for the patient populations that need it, while also providing the necessary incentives and investment for needed innovation to respond to global health needs.


Session Material:

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