On Wednesday, 26 January 2022, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered the following statement on the Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and WHO’s roadmap for the global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs at the 150th session of the World Health Organization’s Executive Board.
Regarding the roadmap for the global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs, we draw your attention to the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines’ recent recommendation to establish a multidisciplinary expert working group to provide advice to WHO on policies and actions to make highly priced essential medicines more affordable and accessible.
We urge the Executive Board to support the establishment of a standing EML Working Group on pricing.
Inclusion on the EML is influential in determining the drugs reimbursed in many countries, in particular lower income countries. Historically this excluded many life-saving cancer drugs and it was made explicit in the new EML report. WHO is now proposing a significant review of policies to address the effective but expensive category of drugs, including policy interventions that can make products more affordable. A standing EML working group on pricing would provide the expertise needed to tackle the issues of affordability.