Washington DC, November 12, 2019 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica organized the Meeting of the Regional Initiative for Information Exchange on Prices, Coverage and Economic Regulation of Health Technologies, that seeks to improve the markets’ transparency for medicines and medical devices. 

Alexandre Lemgruber, Regional Advisor on Health Technologies at PAHO, presented on the importance of reducing information asymmetry, knowing and exploring the existing regulatory tools, sharing results and lessons learned, and providing relevant and strategic information to make informed decisions.

Transparency on Prices

Experts from PAHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative presented on the negative implications of the lack of transparency on prices of medicines and medical devices and highlighted the importance of transparency in Regional actions. Representatives from ANVISA Brazil, shared the results obtained at the training on price regulation carried out this year in the country, and the experience of price monitoring of medical devices. Also, participants discussed the different experiences with the decision-making process on the prices of medicines.

PAHO, in its role as Secretariat of the group, presented the new Community of Practice “Prices, Coverage and Economic Regulation of Medicines and other Health Technologies” in PRAIS, which is a tool for the exchange of information between members, with more than 30 participants.

Initiative work plan for 2020

At the end of the Meeting, participants established the work plan for 2020, which seeks to encourage the exchange of information through the Community of Practice; include medical devices in the work agenda; continue with training activities, gather information from members to build a Regional profile on pricing strategies, and disseminate information on good practices among countries.

The Meeting was held in San José, Costa Rica, and was attended by the Vice Minister of Health of Costa Rica, Denis José Angulo Alguera; the Advisor on Human Resources for Health, Project Management and Organizational Development at PAHO, Yohana Díaz de Valle; and PAHO Regional Advisor in Health Technologies, Alexandre Lemgruber.

Forty participants from Argentina, Brazil, Bermuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay, and an international expert from South Korea attended the Meeting.