The 2021 Fair Pricing Forum, which took place 13-15 and 20-22 April, was hosted by WHO, with the support of the Ministry of Health of Argentina and was held virtually due to the pandemic. In keeping with Resolution WHA 72.8 on Improving the transparency of markets for medicines, vaccines, and other health products, the biennial Fair Pricing Forum provides a platform for WHO Member States and all relevant stakeholders to discuss the affordability and transparency of prices and costs relating to health products. This was the Forum’s third edition, following two previous editions held in the Netherlands in 2017 and South Africa in 2019, where ESMO was an active participant.
The 2021 Fair Pricing Forum addressed several key areas related to ESMO’s ongoing work, including that of the ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale Working Group, the ESMO Cancer Medicines Committee, and the ESMO Global Policy Committee, among others. ESMO officers and staff attended the Forum upon receiving an invite to the meeting from WHO. The agenda from the 2021 Fair Pricing Forum can be found here.
At the conclusion of the Forum, WHO highlighted three main themes that emerged from the discussions:
- Transparency of pricing and markets for health products – transparency was seen as critical for informing effective government policy and decision-making to increase access
- The need for a stronger government role – governments have a stake in setting the innovation agenda and should therefore engage more closely with all stakeholders to align incentives to access at fairer prices
- The continued importance of government pricing policies, regulatory controls, and inter-country or regional collaborations – essential to achieve fair and affordable pricing and competitive markets
Moving forward, WHO plans to:
- Intensify actions in the area of health technologies pricing
- Launch its updated and open access electronic tool, MedMon - the WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Price and Availability Monitoring Mobile Application, which is designed to monitor availability and prices of health products in countries and support countries in the development of national or regional price monitoring systems
- Advocate for more affordable prices of health technologies
WHO plans to “keep the conversation going until the next Forum in 2023 through virtual discussions and a knowledge hub that any stakeholder can join and use to reach experts and partners and share views and information.”