Affordability is one of the four dimensions of access to medicines, a primary outcome of pharmaceutical systems. Prices influence all three dimensions of UHC: population coverage, financial protection and access to services. As much as 90% of populations in low- and middle-income countries buy medicines out-of-pocket and medicines account for 20-60% of health expenditures in these countries, therefore having a major impact on both household and government budgets. Pricing strategies can help to make medical products more affordable for patients and the government and are therefore an important policy intervention. WHO recommends regulation of mark-ups, tax exemptions or reductions, use of external reference pricing, promoting the use of generic medicines, and use of health technology assessments to support reimbursement policies and price setting, as primary policy interventions for managing prices. However, commonly recommended pricing strategies may not adequately address the increasing challenge of high-priced innovative single-sourced medicines, which may require new policies that go beyond pricing.
The USAID Medicines, Technologies and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) program is facilitating the learning exchange on pricing strategies for medical products to provide participants an opportunity to learn from each other about effective pricing strategies being used by different countries and gather insights on how they may adjust interventions in their own countries to ensure access to affordable, safe, quality medical products. The overarching objectives are:
• Increase the participants’ technical knowledge of best practices for managing prices (through discussion of commonly adopted pricing strategies and more innovative policies that countriesIdentify best practices for assessing the effects of pricing policies
• Foster networking and knowledge exchange between countries
• Create learning tools that support the knowledge exchange
The learning exchange consists of three 2-hour sessions conducted virtually using Zoom. Participants will jointly decide on the specific learning topic and the resulting knowledge product.
The participants will decide on the knowledge product, which could be a technical brief summarizing common pricing-related challenges faced by JLN countries and policies that have been deemed effective in addressing these challenges. The brief could also include an inventory of existing technical resources available for countries.
• Tamara Hafner, Principal Technical Advisor, USAID MTaPS
• Veronika Wirtz, Associate Professor in Global Health, Boston University
Session I: Topic scoping
Date: July 24, 2020, 7-9hrs EDT/13-15hrs CET
Zoom info: https://bostonu.zoom.us/j/95076244547?pwd=dkJpalgrVXZyR2NVbFFJVWpJNVNQUT09
Meeting ID: 950 7624 4547
Find your local number: https://bostonu.zoom.us/u/ab2bwtAcbI
During this session, participants will introduce themselves to the group and jointly decide on (a) the specific learning topic and (b) appropriate knowledge product for the subsequent two Learning Exchange sessions.
• Determine the learning topic within the scope of pricing strategies for medical products
• Participants identify what experience and insights they can share to advance learning on the selected topic
• Identify a knowledge product that adequately captures the shared knowledge and will serve as a useful resource for participants