World Health Organization
 Collaborating Center on
 Pharmaceutical Policy

    Improving Access to and Use of Essential Medicines

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Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative



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


WHO Advanced Technical Briefing on Medicines Pricing

During recent years, the issue of access to affordable medicines has received considerable attention among government policy makers, donors, advocacy groups, and the media, both globally and in countries at every income level. One key issue has been the relative dearth of valid and reliable data on the prices paid for medicines by governments, private drug outlets, and consumers. With technical support from faculty of the CCPP , WHO and Health Action International have collaborated since 2001 on a highly successful and influential project to develop practical and scientifically sound approaches for Measuring Medicines Prices. To date, over 50 countries have conducted medicines price surveys using this methodology, generating a broad range of evidence for the development of national pharmaceutical policies.

In order to build capacity among key government policy makers, policy advisors, and survey managers who have conducted WHO-HAI medicines price surveys, WHO convened the Advanced Technical Briefing Seminar on Medicines Prices, Availability, and Price Regulation from April 30 to May 4 2007. This training focused on understanding and interpreting data from medicines price surveys and using the evidence to develop appropriate policy options, Dr. Dennis Ross-Degnan and Ms. Brenda Waning of the CCPP taught sessions in this briefing on (1) synthesis of work on pharmaceutical pricing in Central Asia; (2) experiences with promoting greater use of generic medicines in the US; (3) procurement price monitoring for antiretroviral medicines; and (4) how health insurance can impact on prices, availability and rational use of medicines.

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