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World Governments Should Make ‘Bold Commitments’ To Improve Transparency In Medicines Pricing

Health-e News: MSF: Secret medicine prices cost lives
Candice Sehoma, Southern Africa Access Campaign advocacy officer at Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and Gaelle Krikorian, head of policy at the MSF Access Campaign

“The WHO’s 2nd Fair Pricing Forum meeting, being convened in Johannesburg on 11-13 April, brings together governments, academics, and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and civil society. One of the important topics for discussion is the need for improved transparency in medicines pricing. … Prices charged by pharmaceutical corporations vary wildly for the same medicine depending on who’s buying, and the exact prices that are paid are typically shrouded in secrecy. This lack of transparency gives pharmaceutical corporations the upper hand in price negotiations, keeping prices as high as possible while overstretched health systems and people in need of lifesaving medicines lose out. … Numerous institutions and policymakers are recognizing the harmful impact of medicine price secrecy on public health. … Fair pricing depends on fair negotiations, and there cannot be fair negotiations without transparency. MSF is joining patient advocates and health care professionals worldwide in calling on governments to make bold commitments to fair medicines pricing and mandate complete disclosure of the real prices at which medicines are sold. It is time for leaders to prioritize people’s health over pharmaceutical industry profiteering” (4/10).