The main objective of the Forum is to discuss options for a fairer pricing system that is sustainable for both health systems and research-based and generic pharmaceutical industries.
The initiative also aims to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, in particular to expanding access to essential medicines and attaining universal health coverage.
The meeting is the second forum that focuses on the impact of price setting strategies on access to medicines and vaccines, following the inaugural forum held in the Netherlands in 2017 (10–11 May). Since the 2017 Forum, some countries have made major strides in improving access to medicines through better pricing policies. However, high prices of newly developed medicines and growing prices of existing medicines continue to present major challenges to low-, middle- and even high-income countries. On the other hand, prices that are too low may have negative impacts on the continuity of supply. Fair pricing of essential medicines would mitigate these challenges while providing sufficient incentives for encouraging enterprises and innovation for health technologies.
The Forum will allow all relevant stakeholders, including representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and relevant nongovernmental and patient organizations, to share their experiences with current pricing strategies and to discuss how to achieve fairer prices in the long term. Some of the themes for the Forum will be transparency of pricing, strengthening pricing policies, and cross border collaboration.
WHO and the National Department of Health in South Africa have the pleasure to request Governments to nominate senior policy-makers who work on the selection, pricing and reimbursement of medicines. Due to the capacity of the venue, participation will be limited to two attendees per country. Member States are required to cover the cost of travel and accommodation. The working language of the meeting will be English.