WHO calls for global drug price transparency

World Health Organization experts and other world leaders on Thursday discussed high drug prices during an international meeting in Amsterdam, reports Reuters.

"The problem has become global," Suzanne Hill, WHO's head of essential medicines, said during the one-day forum sponsored by WHO and the Dutch government.

Governments, industry members and civil society representatives attended the forum to develop a concrete plan to address high drug costs, reports Reuters.

While meeting attendees agreed drugmakers need decent returns on research and development costs, they felt governments should have more involvement in setting prices and guiding drug research, according to the report.

Leaders identified a lack of transparency on development costs, current price setting methods and the difference in drug prices from country to country as major obstacles to a better drug pricing system.

"More transparency is absolutely vital to give us evidence for future action," WHO Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny told Reuters.

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