Ministerial Roundtable: Improving access to essential medical products in the Region and beyond
AbstractTo make progress towards universal health coverage (UHC), more equitable access to essential medical products (medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and medical devices) is needed. Despite some progress in the past 10 years, it has not been uniform and challenges remain in availability, quality and affordability. The markets for medical products have changed in recent years. Demand has expanded, with new health care needs from noncommunicable diseases and ageing populations, and as effective new therapies have become available. The SEA Region is now a major manufacturer of medical products worldwide, primarily generic medicines and vaccines. This means there are new opportunities for improving access – through both individual and collective country action – with benefits within the Region and beyond. Progress will involve a wide range of stakeholders within and beyond ministries of health. It is proposed that the Ministerial Roundtable is invited to discuss steps – individual and collective – being taken by Member States to improve access to essential medical products in the Region and beyond, and consider ways to accelerate progress. Member States have also participated in the preparation of a Ministerial Declaration on increasing access to essential medical products in the Region and beyond, which will be submitted for endorsement during the Roundtable. The attached working paper was submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The HLP reviewed the working paper and made the following recommendations for consideration by the Seventy-first Session of the Regional Committee: Actions by Member States • Continue, in collaboration with the Regional Office, to take action on the challenges identified during the discussions at the HLP Meeting. • Broaden the scope of the Ministerial Roundtable discussions from a focus on essential medicines to include the perspective of medical products, including medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and devices. Share the draft of the Ministerial Declaration, discussed during the HLP Meeting, between Member States immediately after the meeting for finalization before the Regional Committee Session. The final draft of the Ministerial Declaration should be ready by 17 August 2018. The final Ministerial Declaration on “Improving access to essential medical products in the Region and beyond” and the associated draft resolution are submitted to the Seventy-first Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia for its consideration and decision.
World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2018). Ministerial Roundtable: Improving access to essential medical products in the Region and beyond. World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/273935