Global Fair Pricing Tensions

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Thu, May 16, 2019

Pricing for prescription drugs has been a contentious issue around the world as payers and patients don’t understand the cause of high drug prices and are struggling with patient access. Particularly in middle- and low-income countries, affordability of drugs in cancer has become an important part of a dialogue between the World Health Organization, governments, non-governmental organizations and patient advocates. The WHO has organized several meetings to explore and drive resolutions for drug-pricing-related issues for patented and generic drugs.


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The WHO Report and Access to Cancer Medicines

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Tue, Feb 05, 2019

The World Health Organization’s recently published report, “Pricing of Cancer Medicines and its Impacts,” has elevated the issue to the agenda of the WHO’s executive board and is likely to ignite a lot of debate and some potential actions. While the report raises some very legitimate concerns related to access to anti-cancer drugs for patients, it also falls short of understanding the pharmaceutical industry environment. Rather than simply blaming the industry, it would be more productive to understand what’s standing in the way of collaboration to address patient needs and then jointly try to develop realistic programs to resolve it.


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2017 Fair Pricing Forum: The Message for Pharma CEOs

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Tue, Jul 18, 2017

This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of In Vivo.

Drug pricing continues to be a social and political dilemma that forms a divide between the drug industry on one side and medical community, governments and patients on the other side. Frustrations over the high cost of prescription drugs have resulted in a groundswell of government and private initiatives to increase transparency, analyze value through various frameworks or directly control pricing.


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Five Observations From the 2017 Fair Pricing Forum

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Mon, May 15, 2017

In May, I joined various members of governmental organizations, patient organizations and the life sciences industry at the 2017 Fair Pricing Forum, an invitation-only meeting to discuss “fair pricing” for medications in Amsterdam. Organized by the World Health Organization and the Dutch Ministry of Health, the meeting prompted a productive dialogue among stakeholders but also revealed a worrisome gap in the overall perception of the drug pricing discussion. The pharmaceutical industry’s viewpoint was widely underrepresented, with attendance heavily weighted toward governments and activists, and only a small industry delegation.


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