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Access to medicines

The World Health Assembly today adopted a resolution on improving the transparency of markets for medicines, vaccines and other health products in an effort to expand access. 

The resolution urges Member States to enhance public sharing of information on actual prices paid by governments and other buyers for health products, and greater transparency on pharmaceutical patents, clinical trial results and other determinants of pricing along the value chain from laboratory to patient. 

It requests the WHO secretariat to support efforts towards transparency and monitor the impact of transparency on affordability and availability of health products, including the effect of differential pricing.

The aim is to help Member States to make more informed decisions when purchasing health products, negotiate more affordable prices and ultimately expand access to health products for the populations. 

Assuring access to medicines is key to advancing universal health coverage. Member States also expressed wide support for the WHO Access Roadmap for Medicines, Vaccines and other health products, which will determine WHO’s work on this issue for the next five years. 

Nagoya Protocol

The Health Assembly requested the Director-General to broaden engagement with Member States, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, relevant international organizations and relevant stakeholders, to provide information on current pathogen-sharing practices and arrangements, the implementation of access and benefit-sharing measures, as well as the potential public health outcomes and other implications. The request followed a review of the WHO’s Secretariat’s report on the public health implications of implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, an international agreement on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization.