First Meeting on Access to Medicines under Universal Health Coverage in the Asia Pacific Region. 18–19 September 2014, Seoul, Republic of Korea
(2014; 126 pages)

Abstract

Universal health coverage is one of the main goals of current global health efforts, and has been promoted by a recent World health Assembly resolution (WHA67.14) 1 as “fundamental to the health component in the post-2015 development agenda”. Universal health coverage implies that all people have access to needed promotive, preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative essential health services and essential, safe, affordable, effective and quality medicines, while ensuring that the use of these services and accessing medicines do not expose the users to financial hardship, with a special emphasis on the poor, vulnerable and marginalized segments of the population.

The importance of collaboration and information sharing has been emphasized at regional meetings in the past. These include the Asia-Pacific Conference on National Medicines Policies in Sydney, Australia, in 2012, and the International Expert Consultation on Medicines as a Key Component of Universal Health Coverage in Singapore in 2013.

Based on the discussions arising from previous consultations, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Korea Policy Centre and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health System and Financing at Seoul National University, hosted the First Meeting on Access to Medicines under Universal Health Coverage in the Asia- Pacific Region. The objectives of the meeting were:

  • to discuss key challenges in medicines management and policy design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation that organizations face when working towards universal health coverage;
  • to facilitate regional collaborations between policy-makers regarding development and implementation of evidence-informed policies through the Asia-Pacific Network on Access to Medicines under Universal Health Coverage;
  • to discuss the main objectives and desired outcomes of the network;
  • to discuss and agree on a common tool to systematically collect and share information to be used to map key policies and strategies that can enable comparative review and evaluation.
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