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As a World Health Assembly meeting nears, several European countries are proposing numerous changes that patient advocates argue would water down a resolution designed to create more transparency around prescription drug pricing.

At a planning session earlier this week, nearly a dozen countries — particularly Germany, Denmark, the U.K., and Sweden — offered a bevy of subtle and not-so-subtle suggestions for softening language used to describe pricing as well as for disclosing R&D costs, patent holdings, and clinical trial results, among other things. A final version, which must still be crafted, will be vetted at the WHA meeting that starts on May 20 in Geneva.


The effort comes three months after Italian health minister Giulia Grillo introduced the resolution and argued that “international action is required to improve transparency” in order to widen access to pharmaceuticals. The resolution is actually one of several initiatives being pursued by cash-strapped governments to control their drug spending, but has far-reaching implications.

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  • And, this change was pretty big.

    Opt 1.3 [Require as a condition of registration for medicines, vaccines cell
    and gene-based therapies and other relevant technologies;

    a) Annual Reports on sales revenues, prices and units sold,

    b) Annual Reports on marketing costs incurred for each registered product
    or procedure,

    c) The R&D costs directly associated with each clinical trial used to support
    the registration of a product or procedure, separately, and

    d) All grants, tax credits or any other public sector subsidies and incentives
    relating to the initial regulatory approval and annually on the subsequent
    development of a product or procedure; (DEL USA, Australia, Denmark)]

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