Workshop builds capacity of countries in improving access to medicines

WHO

WHO/Europe, through its health technologies and pharmaceuticals programme, organized a technical workshop in collaboration with the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom, on strategic procurement of medicines with a focus on negotiations.

The event, which took place on 27–29 September 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark, built on ongoing initiatives to increase strategic procurement knowledge, capabilities and collaboration among Member States. The 33 participants came from 16 countries of the WHO European Region.

Securing affordable prices for medicines through public procurement is an important skill set, as medicines with a high price/budget impact can account for a substantial portion of national health budgets. Further, to facilitate collective negotiation mechanisms, comprehensive pricing policies, transparent procurement processes, and greater generics/biosimilar competition, strong negotiation skills and a structured approach to intercountry collaboration are imperative.

Key components of the workshop included an overview of the principles of positional and collaborative negotiations; a session on setting therapeutic priorities and budget planning for medicines; opportunities for countries to share experience; a review of case studies; and a mock negotiations exercise.