Open letter supporting Italy’s proposed resolution on Improving the transparency of markets for drugs, vaccines and other health-related technologies

On March 6, 2019, 83 civil society organizations and 20 individuals asked delegates to the World Health Assembly (WHA) to support a proposed resolution on “Improving the transparency of markets for drugs, vaccines and other health-related technologies.” A copy of the open letter is available below, and also as a PDF file.


For context, on February 1, 2019, the government of Italy submitted the text of draft resolution to the WHO, with a cover letter noting the aim of providing an “authoritative mandate to strengthen WHO’s technical work on the transparency of the costs of research and development and the transparency of prices” for discussion under agenda item 11.7 – Addressing the global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines, during the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2019.

A PDF copy of the letter from Dr. Giulia Grillo, Italy’s Minister of Health, and the draft resolution are attached here:

italy-letterWHO-DGTedros-resolution transparency


The Italian proposal follows a long line of recommendations for greater transparency of the value chain for medical technologies, including the many outlined here:


The open letter follows:

March 6, 2019

Open letter to WHO member states

On 1 February 2019, Italy submitted a draft resolution on transparency to the World Health Organization (WHO). This resolution is to be discussed in May 2019, at the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA).

The title of the proposed resolution is “Improving the transparency of markets for drugs, vaccines and other health-related technologies,” and it sets out a number of measures designed to achieve this objective .

There are deplorable asymmetries of access to information about many aspects of the innovation and supply chain for medicines, vaccines and other health technologies. The lack of information creates confusion about basic facts related to prices, research and development costs and other aspects of the value chain for medicines, vaccines and health technologies.

The resolution would create a work program for the WHO and norms for governments to cooperate in improving the transparency of various aspects of these technologies.

This is a critical time for governments to consider reforms in pricing and incentives for innovation for health technologies. The transparency measures proposed in the resolution will ensure that consideration of such reforms will be based upon the best possible evidence.

We urge your government to support the resolution.

Organizations (in alphabetical order)

  1. Access to Medicines Ireland (Ireland)
  2. Accion Internacional para la Salud – Perú
  3. Action against AIDS (Germany)
  4. ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership (Global)
  5. AIDES (France)
  6. AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)
  7. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) (US)
  8. Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) (Ghana)
  9. Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS (ABIA) (Brazil)
  10. Ben Newman Hope Care Foundation (Ghana)
  11. Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) (Botswana)
  12. BUKO Pharma-Kampagne (Germany)
  13. Cancer Alliance (South Africa)
  14. Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) (Kampala, Uganda)
  15. Centre for Community Studies, Action and Development (CENCOSAD) (Ghana)
  16. Chasing Zero (UK)
  17. Coalition Plus
  18. Commons Network (EU)
  19. Consumer Association the Quality of LIfe – EKPIZO (Greece)
  20. Drug for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)
  21. Empower India (India)
  22. European Alliance for Responsible R&D and Affordable Medicines
  23. European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
  24. France Assos Santé (France)
  25. Global Health Advocates (France)
  26. Global Justice Now (UK)
  27. Groupe sida Genève – (Switzerland)
  28. Grupo de Trabalho sobre Propriedade Intelectual (GTPI) (Brazil)
  29. Health Action International (HAI)
  30. Health Gap
  31. Health Innovation in Practice (HIP)
  32. Heart to Heart Foundation (Thailand)
  33. Hepatitis Scotland (UK)
  34. IFARMA Foundation (Colombia)
  35. Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)(US)
  36. International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC)
  37. Just Treatment (UK)
  38. KEI Europe (Switzerland)
  39. Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network (KELIN) (Kenya)
  40. Kenyan Network of Cancer Organizations (KENCO) (Kenya)
  41. Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
  42. Korean Pharmacists for Democratic Society (KPDS) (South Korea)
  43. Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (MANERELA+) (Malawi)
  44. Médecins du Monde International
  45. Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign
  46. Misión Salud (Colombia)
  47. NCD Alliance East Africa (EANCDA)
  48. Non Communicable Disease Alliance of Kenya ( NCD-AK) (Kenya)
  49. Oxfam
  50. Pan African Positive Women’s Coalition-Zimbabwe
  51. Pan-African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM)
  52. People’s Health Institute (PHI) (South Korea)
  53. People’s Health Movement (PHM)
  54. PHM East Africa
  55. PHM Kenya
  56. Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+) (Malaysia)
  57. Prescrire (France)
  58. Public Citizen (US)
  59. Public Eye (Switzerland)
  60. Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME) (Burkina Faso)
  61. Salud por Derecho (Spain)
  62. Salud y Farmacos (USA)
  63. Save the Children
  64. SECTION27 (South Africa)
  65. Solthis (France)
  66. Southern African Programme on Access to Medicines and Diagnostics
  68. T1International
  69. Tanzania Breast Cancer Foundation (Tanzania)
  70. Third World Network (TWN)
  71. Test Aankoop/Test Achats (Belgium)
  72. Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)
  73. TranspariMED (UK)
  74. Treatment Action Group (TAG) (United States)
  75. Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) – Zambia
  76. Uganda NCD Alliance (Uganda)
  77. Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT)
  78. Universal Access to Health Care Campaign (UAHCC) (Ghana)
  79. Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)
  80. Wemos (Netherlands)
  81. Women’s Coalition Against Cancer ( WOCACA) (Malawi)
  82. Yolse (Switzerland)
  83. Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN)

Individuals (in alphabetical order)

  1. Aidan Hollis, Professor of Economics, University of Calgary.
  2. Amy Kapczynski, Professor of Law, Yale Law School, Faculty Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership, and Faculty Co-Director of the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency.
  3. Brook Baker, Professor of Law, Northeastern University, School of Law, Research Fellow, University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa.
  4. Diane Singhroy, PhD, Research Associate, McGill University.
  5. Ellen ‘t Hoen, LLM, PhD. Director, Medicines Law & Policy.
  6. Fifa Rahman, Board Member Unitaid NGO Delegation and PhD Candidate (International Trade and Intellectual Property), University of Leeds.
  7. Gilberto de Lima Lopes Junior, MD, MBA, FAMS, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Medical Director for International Programs Associate Director for Global Oncology Co-Leader, Lung Cancer Site Disease Group Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami and the Miller School of Medicine.
  8. Hani Serag, Egyptian Foundation for Health for All.
  9. Hannes Braberg, Staff Scientist at University of California, San Francisco.
  10. Jorge Bermudez, MD, DSc, Head of the Department of Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies, National School of Public Health/ Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Member of the UN Secretary-General High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines.
  11. Lawrence Gostin, University Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
  12. Leeza Osipenko, PhD. Senior Lecturer in Practice, LSE.
  13. Margo A. Bagley, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law, Faculty Fellow, Emory Global Health Initiative (EGHI), Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Collaborator, Harvard University Global Access in Action (GAiA) Program.
  14. Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London; Founder and Director, the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.
  15. Marie-Paule Kieny, PhD. Director of Research, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), Chair, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative Board of Directors, and Chair, Medicines Patent Pool Foundation Governance Board.
  16. Melissa Barber, PhD student, Harvard University.
  17. Ophira Ginsburg, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine.
  18. Ravi Ram, Director, RMH Systems, and Independent Health Systems Evaluator, Kenya.
  19. Suerie Moon, MPA, PhD. Director of Research at the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  20. William “Terry” W. Fisher III. WilmerHale Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.