10:00—11:30 AM
Center for Global Development
2055 L St, NW
- Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20036

Can Transparency Lower Prices and Improve Access to Pharmaceuticals? It Depends


  • Adrian Towse, Emeritus Director & Senior Research Fellow, Office of Health Economics


  • Prashant Yadav, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development


Spending on pharmaceuticals and other health care commodities is one of the fastest growing elements of healthcare spending in rich and poorer countries alike. A popular response to the problem of escalating drugs budgets has been seeking transparency of drug pricing within and across borders. In a rare alignment of policy priorities, the Trump administration, the US Senate, and the World Health Organization are calling for more transparency of the prices paid for prescription drugs as a means of reducing prices or (in WHO’s case) getting to “fair prices”. But is price transparency really an answer to healthcare systems’ fiscal sustainability challenges as they strive to expand access to new technologies or even merely sustain provision within strained public budgets? Will making prices publicly available make procurement more efficient, and make cost-effective medicines more accessible? In this seminar, Adrian Towse will discuss research on the role that price transparency may play in the efficient and effective procurement of medicines by low and middle-income countries.

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