WHO – 4th Fair Pricing Forum

By João L. Carapinha

February 2, 2024

Introduction to Fair Pricing

The 4th Fair Pricing Forum is a major event that tackles the big issues in healthcare: how to make drugs and treatments affordable and accessible for everyone. Let’s jump into some key sessions and what they mean in plain terms.

Day 1: Open and Transparent Markets

First, there’s a lot of talk about making the healthcare market more open and transparent. This is about letting everyone know how drugs are priced and why. But, the big question is, has making things more transparent actually made drugs cheaper for people? Sometimes, when governments try to make things clearer, it doesn’t always lead to lower prices. At Syenza, we’ve seen a lot of this and wonder if these efforts are really working as intended.

Another hot topic is about “managed entry agreements.” This is a fancy way of saying that some drugs get to the market with special deals, so they can be used faster based on real-world data. But collecting this data is tough, especially in countries that don’t have the tech or money to do it well. Are governments really on board with these deals, or are they just a new trend that’s hard to put into practice?

Day 2: “Fair” Profit for Innovators

On the second day, there’s a big discussion about what counts as a “fair” profit for drug companies. It’s tricky. How much profit is okay, and does it change based on the drug or the country? This session is crucial because it touches on the balance between making money and making sure treatments are affordable.

One session focuses on the high costs of medicines for rare diseases. These costs aren’t just about money; they affect people’s lives deeply. We’re eager to see real examples of how to handle this issue.

Day 3: Health Technology Assessment toward Fair Pricing

Day three looks at the challenges of using Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in poorer countries. HTA is about figuring out the value of new drugs or treatments. But often, this comes down to using the country’s wealth as a measure, which doesn’t seem fair. Are there better ways to do this that don’t just boil down to how much money a place has?

Conclusion

Throughout the forum, there’s a lot of focus on government actions and policies. But there’s not enough talk about what companies are doing on their own to solve these problems. There seems to be a missed opportunity to look at how the private sector can help fix the issue of drug pricing without waiting for government intervention.

In short, the Fair Pricing Forum is tackling some of the biggest challenges in making healthcare accessible to everyone. But the real test will be moving from talking about these problems to actually doing something about them. We need to think about both the role of governments and companies in making treatments affordable and accessible. It’s not just about finding faults but working together for real solutions.

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