World Health Organization
 Collaborating Center on
 Pharmaceutical Policy

    Improving Access to and Use of Essential Medicines

Contact Info  


Learn More About:

Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative



Glossary of Terms Used for Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


Global Fund ARV Price Evaluation

As part of the MeTA project led by Brenda Waning (see No. 3 below), a research study was conducted to analyze 5,000 publicly available antiretroviral (ARV) procurements reported to WHO Global Price Reporting Mechanism (GPRM) over the period Nov 2002-Jun 2006. The MeTA study analyzed the publicly available data and revealed dramatic differences in prices paid within and between countries for identical products. Such differences in prices paid ultimately result in variations in the number of people that can be treated in a country with limited resources. The study quantified excess money spent when countries are unable to obtain fair market prices for ARVs. Predictive analyses of ARV prices showed volume was not strongly predictive of price, a belief commonly held by many. The results of the study have been widely disseminated, and presented orally over 20 times to governments, donors, academics, NGOs, and implementers in the span of 6 months. Study results have already prompted substantial changes in practice at donor, country, and organization levels.

The study revealed the power of pricing information in decision making and accountability arrangements; however, it was noted that this information can be powerful only at country level if the information is presented in a user-friendly manner and if the information is actually used by key decision makers in selection and procurement processes. As such, it was suggested that regional training courses be developed and offered in MeTA pilot countries to highlight the importance of reporting ARV procurements and other relevant information, demonstrate the utility of such information, and determine the most appropriate format to provide the information to key decision makers. It was suggested that the regional training courses be collaboratively developed and offered by a broad range of global and local partners, including Boston CCPP, WHO AIDS Diagnostics and Medicine Services (ADMS), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), US PEPFAR Supply Chain Management Systems (SCMS), World Bank, USAID Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS), in-country HIV/AIDS program staff, and others.


Information from the Third International Conference for Improving Use of Medicines, ICIUM2011