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Fresh from a meeting with drug makers, advocacy groups, and government agencies, World Health Organization officials say they are gradually moving closer to a framework for so-called fair pricing for prescription medicines.

Although recommendations are not yet forthcoming, the latest meeting builds on efforts that began a year ago and, at the time, identified several key issues to be addressed. A report by an informal advisory group last fall named transparency in pricing and research and development costs; the right of governments to issue compulsory licenses; manipulation of orphan drug designations; medicine shortages; and the merits of value-based pricing.

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