Consultation on Financing of Essential Medicines. Manila, Philippines, 4-6 October 2006
(2007; 58 pages)


The Regional Strategy for Improving Access to Essential Medicines in the Western Pacific Region 2005-2010 covers areas of concern including medicine financing. Important strategies include identifying and sharing best practices in medicine financing, establishing an information system for different sources of medicine financing, and applying cost containment measures. A regional consultation on medicine financing was held to further discuss the implementation of those strategies and to share the policies and experiences of different countries in financing of essential medicines.

Participants who are in charge of financing of essential medicines or involved in the selection and procurement of essential medicines were invited to attend. Subsequently, 18 participants from Cambodia, Fiji, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Tonga and Viet Nam, one short-term consultant, four representatives from the Asian Development Bank and the local Department of Health and seven secretariat members attended the consultation.

It was agreed that member countries would be encouraged to develop and use effectively country-relevant national pharmaceutical accounts for policy-making, planning of medicine financing, monitoring and rationalizing medicine expenditures. Such exercise is also important for exchange of medicine financing information and cross-country comparison. Member countries would explore the opportunity to mobilize adequate financing resources through appropriate funding arrangements such as social health insurance, not only to satisfy their respective national requirements for medicines but also to contain the costs of medicines. Various cost containment strategies on rationalizing medicine selection, price, use and improving procurement, reimbursement and supply management system need to be further explored in countries concerned.

WHO would collaborate with member countries to develop a standard methodology for national pharmaceutical accounts, support its application in their respective medicine financing situations and facilitate inter-country collaboration for exchanging and utilizing information on medicine expenditure and financing. WHO would also advocate and provide technical supports for member countries in improving medicine financing with various financing schemes and containing medicine costs through effective interventions aimed at rationalizing every process of medicine supply and use.

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