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The 5th meeting on Access to Medicines under Universal Health Coverage in the Asia Pacific Region was held in New Delhi, India from 19 to 20 September 2018. The meeting was organized by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Korea Policy Centre, OECD, World Health Organization Western Pacific Region (WPRO), WHO South East Asia Region (SEARO), and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Systems and Financing (Director: Prof Soonman Kwon). Experts and participants from a total of nineteen Asia-Pacific member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste) were convened for the meeting.

 

The objectives of the meeting were i) facilitate the exchange of information and experiences on the use of pricing, procurement and other policies, tools, skills to expand access to essential medicine; ii) share information on managing medicines prices and ensuring affordability to improve access, especially on low-middle income country settings, including high price innovative therapies; iii) develop knowledge and skills to improve efficiency of procurement and price negotiations; and iv) promote exchange of experience between countries on the policies and strategies to make medicines more affordable.

 

Participants and experts discussed global and regional updates and review of Asia Pacific pharmaceutical policies for improving access including access to medicines as a changing agenda regionally and globally, opportunities for getting better value and better coverage, and options for improving price transparency during the first day of the meeting. On the second day, they discussed what actions are needed and feasible within and across countries to get better prices such as progress, challenges, and lessons learned in countries, strategies to address challenges individually and collaboratively, and ways forward on collaborative via this network


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