Limited access to essential medicines is one of the key barriers to health. This is particularly true for the majority of low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The barriers are varied and include weak health systems, no or lack of proper infrastructure, insufficient numbers of health workers, insufficient knowledge among health workers, no surveillance systems, lack of diagnostics. Price of course is a key barrier.

The price of patented medicines is becoming an increasing challenge in all countries but in LMICs the proportion of healthcare spend on medicines is higher, at least a quarter and up to 67% of the entire healthcare budget, and this continues to increase. As a result, the price of medicines could make the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) unaffordable and beyond the reach of many.

The answer to this challenge is to make medicines available and affordable but the next question is how. A number of access models have been tried, including voluntary public health licensing, donation programmes, tiered pricing, bilateral deals between originators and generic companies, and as a last resort compulsory or government licensing. The appropriateness of each model will depend on the specific circumstances nevertheless each must be judged against the major public health standards of transparency, sustainability and benefit.

Through this panel discussion, MPP and partners bring to you diverse viewpoints on how we can each contribute to facilitate access to essential medicines in LMICs, which is a critical precondition if we are to truly achieve UHC.

What’s more, the event is free to stream. Click on the banner to stream live from the official website of the World Health Summit.

We look forward to having you!