World Health Assembly Adopts New Resolution on Access to Medicines

The World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a new resolution last May 28 that aims to improve the information that member states share regarding their markets for medicines and health products in an effort to give better access to it.

The resolution urged that information such as prices that governments and other buyers pay for medicines be made public. It also asked that more transparency about pharmaceutical patents and clinical trials that can determine the pricing of medical products be made public.

By allowing greater transparency of this kind of information, member states will be able to make better informed decisions about the purchase of medicines, vaccines, and other medical products. This will also have the added effect of being able to negotiate for better prices and give broader access to these products with the member states’ respective populace.

This resolution is in-line with the WHA’s advocacy of providing universal health coverage for all. It is the World Health Organization (WHO) secretariat’s responsibility to support any efforts towards this initiative and monitor the effect of pricing and affordability of medical products as a result of this resolution.

Member states agreed to the resolution as well as other initiatives included in the WHO’s Access Roadmap for Medicines, Vaccines, and other health products. This will shape the organization’s efforts on the issue in the coming years.

About the World Health Assembly

The most recent WHA was held last May 20 to May 28 at the UN’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This assembly marked the 72nd time the event had taken place. As the decision making body of the WHO, many policies are made during the event that seeks to improve the overall health and general welfare of its member states, as well as appoint its Director-General, who supervises the decision making policies of the assembly.

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