On January 29, the President of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) put under consideration of the EB a document on prices, availability and affordability of cancer drugs. The report urges pharmaceutical companies and governments to review the entire pricing system to reduce costs. The document will be evaluated at the General Assembly meeting next May 20. The debate is expected to continue and specific guidelines will be issued to facilitate access to these drugs.
The report, written by Executive Board Director Tedros Ghebreyesus, acknowledges government’s’ policies to set maximum prices for drugs. However, it also points out that the efforts have not been entirely satisfactory because drugs are still unaffordable. Furthermore, the lack of both health coverage and countries’ commitment to regulate pharmaceutical industries result in failures in the coverage of this illness internationally.
Following the official presentation of the document and the debate on its content, members of the Assembly are set to ratify or modify it during the 72nd period of sessions, which is set to take place between May 20-28. In this regard, the Assembly may issue final conclusions and recommendations with respect to the aforementioned document.