FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Regulatory Affairs

WHO Approves Watered Down Drug Pricing Recommendations

June 5, 2019

The World Health Organization has adopted a drug price transparency resolution that critics have  lambasted as a sop to big pharma.

The resolution urges member nations “in accordance with their national and regional legal frameworks and contexts” to “take appropriate measures to publicly share information on the net prices” of drugs and other “health products,” and to work “collaboratively to improve the reporting of information by suppliers on registered health products.”

The final resolution is significantly weaker than an April 29 draft that urged members “to publicly share information on prices and reimbursement cost of medicines, vaccines, cell and gene-based therapies and other health technologies.”

The draft also urged members to require the costs of clinical trials to be published and to forbid drug and biologics sponsors from registering their products unless they publish annual reports on sales revenues, prices and units sold, the product’s research and development costs and all “grants, tax credits or any other public sector subsidies and incentives” that help get them to approval.

Wealthy nations with big pharma industries—in particular, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Australia and the U.S.—fought fiercely against the draft recommendations, earning them condemnation from Doctors Without Borders, among other groups.

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