The Collaborating Centres in the WHO Network for Monitoring the Impact of Globalization and TRIPS on Access to Drugs will work individually and collectively to gather and analyse data relevant to assessing how the processes of economic globalization and the TRIPS and other trade and international agreements are related to the challenge of improving access to pharmaceuticals.
The centerpiece of this effort will be to collect and analyse the data included in the template of selected indicators. Each of the Collaborating Centres will collect data on an annual basis for three countries in their region, or in the region of their expertise and on-the-ground contacts. Working as a network, the Collaborating Centres will review their experience in collecting data to make recommendations for clarifications and revisions to the template of selected indicators, as well as sharing learned experience about how to most efficiently and effectively train data collectors and acquire the desired data.
The Collaborating Centres will share their data to develop a substantial pool of data for analysis. They will conduct independent analyses of the data, focusing as appropriate on the data from their own region or on the entire Network data set. While there will inevitably be some overlap in the Collaborating Centres’ analytic projects, they will proactively share research plans to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.
Each of the Collaborating Centres is expected to focus on issues relating to their particular areas of expertise, and on questions of particular importance and urgency for their region or the regions on which they focus. The Centres may also, in conjunction with the data gathering process, collect additional information related to relevant issues of particular concern.
Background information on each of the Collaborating Centres follows:
The Bangkok Collaborating Centre
The Centre for Health Economics is a specialized centre within the Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University. It grew out of the positive development in health economics in the Faculty since 1979. The Centre was formally established in 1990 with initial support from WHO/TDR and the British Council. The Centre is committed to regular teaching of health economics at undergraduate and graduate levels in Thai and to an international graduate MSc course in Health Economics in English. It offers regular international Short Courses in English in specialized areas of Health Economics for graduates and provides other specialized courses in collaboration with Government Ministries and other institutions.
The objectives of the Centre for Health Economics are to: (1) Develop expertise in and commitment to the application of health economics in the formulation of health care policies, in planning and resource allocation, and in the health care delivery process in the region and Thailand; (2) strengthen health economics research capability in Thailand and South-East Asia, with respect to health policy, health care reform, drug policy and related issues to improve effectiveness, efficiency and equity; (3) encourage research in economic analysis and evaluation of disease control, with special attention to tropical diseases; (4) provide advisory and information services in South-East Asia and other regions on health economics research.
The Barcelona Collaborating Centre
The Foundation Institut Català de Farmacologia is a non-profit institution whose Board of Trustees is composed of representatives of local health authorities, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (AUB) and WHO’s and other international experts. The FICF is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Pharmacoepidemiology.
Its constituent objective is to promote rational drug prescription and the effective and efficient use of therapeutic resources.
FICF’s activity is carried out at the University hospital complex Vall d’Hebron, several primary health care centres, and international cooperation in collaboration with Spanish and European regulatory authorities, WHO, scientific societies and other organizations. The main working areas of FICF are (1) support of institutional committees (on drug selection and drug and therapeutics information, ethics committees, and other), advice to health authorities on pharmaceutical policies, national and international regulation and pharmacovigilance; (2) drug information with special focus on telematics; (3) training (pregraduate, postgraduate, specialist training, and continuous education of health professionals), and (4) research.
The London Collaborating Centre
LSE Health and Social Care is a research centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Centre’s mission is to produce and disseminate high quality research in health and social care. Major areas of research include: pharmaceutical economics and policy, European and international health policy, healthcare system reform, social and private health insurance, health technology assessment and outcomes, and equity and efficiency of health services.
The Rio de Janeiro Collaborating Centre
The Nucleus for Pharmaceutical Policies of the National School of Public Health comprises a staff of senior researchers with diverse professional experiences, working in an academic environment. Linked to the Ministry of Health, it has been strongly supporting Health Policy formulation, implementation and assessment, dealing with expanding access of populations to Health services and essential medicines. Within this context, the Centre has actively participated in the formulation of the Brazilian National Drug Policy and has leaded the review of the EDL (essential drug list) and National Therapeutic Formulary, also assessing the implementation of health programmes related with access to medicines.
Additionally, the Centre has organized international seminars for Latin American and Spanish and Portuguese-speaking African countries’, addressing the issues of Health Sector Reform and access to essential medicines and has participated in the process of formulating other countries NDP, such as Honduras and Angola. It receives Master Degree and Doctor in Sciences students for studies in Public Health, related to pharmaceutical policies and Health Evaluation studies.
Its recent activities in Brazil include monitoring of the implications of WTO TRIPS Agreement and intellectual property rights regarding access to medicines, availability and affordability of them, as well as the implementation and assessment of the recent Generic Medicines Law. Its members have been participating in several international joint initiatives supported by United Nations Agencies and public interest nongovernmental organizations. Case-country studies in several areas involving access to medicines are being planned.