Governments Working On Drug Pricing Transparency Deal At WHA; Some Advocates Fear Parts Of Agreement Will Remain Secret

Reuters: WHO drug pricing talks may fail to end secrecy, activists fear
“Governments are working on a drug pricing transparency deal at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual assembly, but activists said on Thursday they fear crucial costs may be left out, enabling pharmaceutical firms to keep prices high. … A six-page draft published by the WHO on Thursday urges states to publish prices and costs of medicines, vaccines, cell and gene-based therapies, and other health technologies, and improve the transparency of medical patents. … On Monday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the United States was very supportive of greater drug pricing transparency, hoping to bring down published ‘list prices’ for drugs and ‘out of pocket expenses’ for consumers. But there were some areas where lifting the veil of corporate secrecy may not be worthwhile, such as in R&D spending, Azar told reporters…” (Miles, 5/23).