This week the World Health Assembly will be asked to support more transparency around the costs and pricing of medicines. The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation made up of representatives from the WHO’s 194 member countries. A ‘transparency resolution’ on costs and prices of medicines will be discussed at the WHA meeting on Wednesday 22nd May. This resolution was proposed by Italy and so far it has the support of 10 other countries including Spain, France, South Africa, Uganda and Greece.
However, in the informal discussions leading up to the Assembly a number of countries have proposed changes to water down the resolution and have apparently tried to block it from being discussed at all.
As Dr Els Torreele from MSF Access Campaign said “It is very disconcerting to learn that Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark and five other OECD countries are attempting to derail this important effort to create transparency in medicines pricing and medical research and development. … It seems contradictory that the very governments that espouse the importance of transparency in almost every other sector are in this case standing against the tide.”
More than 100 civil society groups and medics have written to WHA negotiators calling on them to support the transparency resolution.
AllTrials is asking all governments to support the transparency resolution when it is put to the World Health Assembly on Wednesday 22nd May.
Clinical trials results transparency
AllTrials is particularly interested in point 7 of the resolution which focuses on sharing results from clinical trials. Point 7 sets out that the overriding ethical obligations on researchers to report results from all clinical trials, as set out in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki, are not always being adhered to. It says that when results aren’t shared this impacts on the body of knowledge about our medicines.
We would have thought these were uncontroversial statements. But we’ve heard that governments including the UK, Sweden and Germany have suggested changing wording here that would make this point essentially meaningless and potentially put it into conflict with the Declaration of Helsinki. Read our detailed briefing.
Please share your support for the transparency resolution and urge WHA members not to roll back the recent progress companies, academics, funders and all of us have made in transparency.