Tabitha Ha, Stop AIDS, Link
In the past month, I joined two major global gatherings for multiple stakeholders, including high-level government representatives, to tackle the issue of high drug prices as well as access to medicines more broadly. What struck me were the overwhelming calls for transparency, as a recognised democratic principle, to underpin the research and development (R&D) of medicines, especially when it comes to the costs of R&D, drug prices and being able to trace public funds involved in R&D.
The Fair Pricing Forum, held by the Netherlands and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in early May was notably attended by many governments from high-income countries who are increasingly struggling with the burden of high drug prices. Later in May, thousands of delegates descended on Geneva for the 70th World Health Assembly, where the debate on access to medicines and R&D continued to rage as part of the formal proceedings and in several side events.