Resources in this key list look at some of the reasons medicines prices are so high, how medicines prices can be measured, and how improvements in health systems might be made to help bring prices down.
We will add to this key list over time and would welcome suggestions or additions. Please send these to: email@example.com
Books, reports, etc
This study benchmarks ARV prices of former Soviet Union (FSU) countries against each other and against global and European region ARV prices. The study reveals that extreme price variation exists within and across FSU countries for identical ARVs, which suggests that some countries may be able to obtain ARVs at lower prices and therefore purchase additional ARVs to treat more people
In this progress report for the 5th WTO Ministerial Conference at Cancún, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assesses the progress and setbacks on the realisation of the Doha Declaration, and outlines the next steps Members should take to meet their obligations
This open access book charts the spread of AIDS and its impact on people in villages in Uganda, sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world and the unnecessary numbers of deaths, particularly among poor people that it has caused. It also looks at the campaign to gain universal access to anti-retroviral therapy and the limited level of response from the rich world. The author challenges pharmaceutical companies to develop more ethical and humanitarian ways to trade, involving crucial life-saving drugs, and calls for a new world order to ensure entitlement of the poor to rapid humanitarian relief
This study looks at current policies and practices in pharmaceutical supply and reimbursement in Ghana, and considers the options for a more efficient, effective, and equitable pharmaceutical pricing policy
These guidelines are designed to maximise the benefit of price discounts arrangements for single-source products. They are intended for policy makers and technical staff in international and bilateral agencies active in international health development support, for pharmaeutical companies and for governments and NGOs in recipient countries. It highlights a number of issues that WHO feels need to be considered when planning or negotiating offers of price discounts
This document sets out a framework to ensure the longer-term supply of affordable essential medicines to developing countries and to build on ‘best practice’ in the pharmaceutical industry as it engages in developing country markets
This paper examines the issues surrounding Tanzania’s reliance on foreign sources, such as India, for the supply of drugs. It argues that it is important for Tanzanian industry to improve in order to encourage local manufacture and to enhance access to medicines within the country
This manual describes a new approach to measuring the prices people have to pay for a selection of important medicines in different medicine outlets. The manual also describes how to collect information on price composition (taxes, mark-ups, fees) and assess the affordability and availability of medicines
This document brings together the outcomes of six surveys into medicine prices - for Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, Chad and Uganda - and one for the East African Community (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) . The reports for Mali and Chad are written in French and the others in English
This paper considers the importance of national-level action on policy and practical measures that are needed to ensure poor people have access to medicines. It details examples of the use of Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) flexibilities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Ghana
This is an analysis of the data collected in recent surveys of originator and generic medicines used to treat chronic diseases, and demonstrates that the price, availability and affordability are optimal for neither product types in most of the countries surveyed. The report is intended to be used by policy-makers and programme managers responsible for pricing, price regulation, procurement and other regulatory affairs related to chronic diseases, and can also be used for civil society groups wanting to advocate for pricing policies to make medicines more affordable and available
"Low-cost high-quality drugs benefit society and helps provide pharmaceutical companies a competitive edge. This study presents the issues that must be considered to achieve these common objectives in Bangladesh and explores options that the Government and the local industry could pursue. "Previous efforts to improve the drug quality in Bangladesh focused, without much success, on stricter regulation of the public market. This paper addresses this issue from a more private sector approach. The existing quality and price of pharmaceuticals are analysed and alternative mechanisms are explored to improve the quality and cost competitiveness of Bangladesh’s pharmaceuticals domestically and internationally"
This document provides guidelines for determining reasonable royalties or adequate remuneration for the manufacture or sale of medicines. The emphasis is on patent systems easy to administer and not overly complex, setting royalty levels that should not prevent access to medicines. The document includes an overview of WTO TRIPS provisions, examples of royalty setting, considerations for developing a policy framework for remuneration and non-voluntary use of patents on medicines, royalty guidelines and an evaluation of the Medical Innovation Prize Fund system of remuneration. This document is primarily aimed at policy makers and national governments
Provides information on drugs and diagnostics for people living with HIV/AIDS, along with their price and source or manufacturer
This research report considers the challenges faced by a local pharmaceutical firm - Quality Chemicals - in Uganda, which was started up as a 'solution' to reducing the high cost of medicines and improving access to medicines. "...many burdens and barriers to access continue to seriously hinder the success of such enterprises. Indirect government subsidies to exporters selling into African markets, and pressure by donors and lobbyists on innovator producers to offer developing countries subsidised prices, actually undermine the competitiveness and viability of these nascent firms. Furthermore, the focus on drug pricing and local production can actually undermine the overall aim to increase access to medicines"
The focus of this edition of HAI and WHO's bulletin for medicines prices surveys is a meeting of the regional committee of the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean region (EMRO) at which the results of 11 medicines pricing surveys carried out in the region were compared and discussed and it was decided to share information regionally
At a time when over 50 medicines pricing surveys had been completed around the world using the HAI/WHO methodology, the lead article to this edition of the medicines pricing survey bulletin considers the need for guidelines to assist in the creation of policy changes that will help to reduce the price of essential medicines
The lead article in this edition of the HAI and WHO medicines prices survey quarterly bulletin focuses on the need to improve the availability of essential medicines. Since 2003, medicines prices surveys have been carried out in a number of countries using a survey tool designed by WHO and HAI
This is a peer reviewed, open access international journal to promote and publish commentary and research on the rational use of and access to medicines
This issue of the bulletin includes articles about the taxes on medicines and access to medicines; a report of a survey about medicine prices and availability in Latin America and the Caribbean; and about poor access to diabetes care in the Philippines
The lead article of this edition of the WHO and HAI medicines pricing survey quarterly bulletin picks up on an article published in the Lancet which highlights the financial burden faced by many people living in low and middle income countries when having to pay for essential medicines
Making essential medicines more affordable and more widely available are essential in helping to meet the millennium development goals. The lead article of this edition of HAI and WHO's medicines pricing survey bulletin, looks at UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's response to a mid-term progress report from the MDG Gap Task Force
This article highlights the need for any pharmaceutical procurement to be done in a way that ensures transparency and a corruption-free process
This issue has articles about medicine prices in Vietnam, Thailand and South Africa, generic medicines in Malaysia and Australia, anti-retroviral therapy in South Africa, and legislation and regulation in the retail pharmacy sector in low-income countries.
Southern Med Review : Vol 2, Issue 2
This article examines medicines price competition that ensued in a rural village in Kyrgyzstan after the opening of a small network of non-profit pharmacies created and managed by an NGO. While the rural pharmacies were created to increase access to medicines in villages where no pharmacies existed, the project had unexpected, substantial spillover effects, spurring medicines price reductions in pharmacies quite far away
"This article focuses on Ghana, a developing country that recently changed its patent laws to conform to TRIPS standards. While Ghana has made strides in improving public health, the country has urgent and serious health needs that cannot be met by the existing system. Improving pharmaceutical access is one of the core challenges facing the Government"
This manual is to help governments, civil society groups and others concerned about the prices of medicines to collect and analyse: medicine prices (patient prices and government procurement prices) across sectors and regions in a country; medicine availability; treatment affordability; and all price components in the supply chain from manufacturer to patient (taxes, mark-ups etc.). It is accompanied by a CD-ROM which contains a more extensive collection resources and tools, such as sample training materials, frequently asked questions, and a report template for use in developing national survey reports
This blog sets out the need for a transparent medicine pricing mechanism in the Philippines backed up by the development of a responsive, competitive pharmaceutical sector capable of undertaking science and technology activities
The AMDS is the secretariat of a network for supply management of HIV commodities and brokers cooperation between technical partners, funding agencies, manufacturing companies and other organisations. AMDS also operates a clearing house collecting and disseminating strategic information through Global price reporting mechanism, Drug regulatory data database, and ARV forecast integrated in this website or through a dedicated website for procurement and supply management (PSM Tools)
This blog looks at medicine prices in the Philippines
This website contains a database of the results of over 50 surveys, along with survey reports and other information about the prices of medicines in different countries. The surveys were carried out following the publication by Health Action International and the World Health Organization (Department of Medicine Policy and Standards) of a working draft manual to collect and analyse the prices people pay for a selection of important medicines across sectors and regions in a country, as well as medicine availability, treatment affordability and all price components in the supply chain (taxes, mark-ups etc.) in 2003. Governments, NGOs and others concerned about the prices of medicines are encouraged to undertake a survey using the methodology outlined in the manual because reliable data is seen as the first step to exploring policy options and taking action to reduce prices and improve availability
PATAM is a social movement of individuals and organisations dedicated to mobilising communities, political leaders and all sectors to ensure access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, as a fundamental part of comprehensive care for all people with HIV/AIDS in Africa. The PATAM was created in response to the unacceptable situation where the greatest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world today are located on the African continent but do not have sufficient access to lifesaving medications. The site contains useful information on HIV and AIDS, advocacy strategies, and resources. It also provides links to information on treatment response strategies, treatment literacy and drug pricing
UNITAID’s mission is to contribute to scaling up access to treatment for HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, primarily for people in low-income countries, by leveraging price reductions for quality diagnostics and medicines and accelerating the pace at which these are made available