New draft rules by the World Health Organization (WHO) may force pharma companies to reveal the prices of any drugs under public procurement contracts. This comes after criticism of the industry over a lack of pricing transparency regarding therapeutics like vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Jennifer Rigby and Emma Farge, “The agreement is at an early stage and likely to change in the course of negotiations with member states and other stakeholders. The draft will be presented to them in full in a meeting on Friday, after being circulated earlier in the week. The document is vague about what would happen if countries that sign up do not stick to its rules and if companies do not comply. The U.N. agency cannot force companies to follow its rules. The proposal may face resistance from the drug industry after its meteoric race to develop vaccines and treatments that proved to be critical tools in controlling the virus which has killed more than 6.5 million people worldwide.”
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(Source: Reuters, November 18th, 2022)