ASEAN member states urged to publicly share net prices of health products

This will improve price transparency at a global level.

The member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were urged to publicly share information on net prices of health goods to improve price transparency globally.

In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) Philippines said the ASEAN convened in a two-day online workshop to ensure fair prices and effective financing of medicines and health technologies to achieve wider Universal Health Coverage from 6 April to 7 April.

DOH said it was in line with resolution WHA72.8, which was adopted during the 72nd World Health Assembly on Improving the Transparency of Markets for Medicines, Vaccines, and Other Health Products in 2019.

Having existing legal and policy frameworks on pharmaceutical pricing and access and private markets that are publicly available and requiring drug price control measures for expensive medicines and in situations of public health emergencies were identified as best country practices.

Also, at the workshop, most ASEAN member states disclose drug prices to guide their purchasing and negotiations with the industry and use external reference pricing through benchmarking with ASEAN, India, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, internal reference pricing, and tendering. 

This process allows the need to guide the procurement at the country level. 

The event, which was attended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Western Pacific and WHO Philippines Country Office, was organised by DOH – Pharmaceutical Division, in coordination with the Bureau of International Health Cooperation.

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