Global Health Matters

Pharmaceutical manufacturers resist calls for transparency on medicine prices

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Global Health Matters
17th April 2019
By Thomas B. Cueni

This article was originally published by Buisness Day  on April 16, 2019.

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) says health activists’ call last week for greater transparency on medicine prices could backfire, and drive up drug costs in low and middle-income countries.

Activists stepped up their campaign ahead of the Fair Pricing Forum convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Johannesburg last week, which sought to determine how to balance the competing demands of affordability with the need to incentivise the industry to continue to invest in developing new medicines. The meeting was co-hosted with the SA government, and drew delegates from civil society, the government, and the pharmaceutical industry.

“Price transparency potentially risks price convergence, which would mean some countries would pay rather more [than they do at present]”, said IFPMA director-general Thomas Cueni in a phone interview with Business Day this week.

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