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World Health Organization drug pricing conversations may fail to end confidentiality, operators fear


GENEVA (Reuters) – Governments are working on a drug pricing transparency deal at the World Health Organization (WHO) annual assembly, but operators on Thursday said they feared essential costs would be left out, allowing pharmaceutical companies to keep Prices are high.

Campaigners say that some drugs are unintentionally priced, although they are often developed with public finances, and health providers often pay far too much, because governments are overwhelmingly paying too much; n negotiate prices without knowing the cost of the treatment to develop them.

“We're not talking about a revolution for the sector, we're talking about setting a fair price according to what was invested,” said Patrick Durisch in Public Eye, a not-for-profit organization from Switzerland. “Why should it differ from the pharmaceutical industry than in other sectors?” T

A six-page draft published by the World Health Organization on Thursday urged states to publish prices and costs of medicines, vaccines, cell and gene therapies and other health technologies, and improve the transparency of medical patents.

The draft, work in progress with many proposed changes to the text, could also order the WHO to collect and analyze data and costs from clinical trials and procurement prices for medicines and vaccines, t although the draft shows that Switzerland, Germany and Japan have asked for that section to be deleted.

On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the US was very supportive of drug pricing transparency, hoping to reduce published "list prices" for drugs and "out of pocket expenses" for consumers.

But there were some areas where raising corporate confidentiality is not worthwhile, as in research and development spending, Azar told reporters.

“The question about R&D is: is this really meaningful transparency, and information that would go into pricing and handling products? We suspect that this is not necessarily the highest value area for our efforts, but we continue to look at that. ”

Transparency campaigners said they feared a handful of countries, including Germany and Britain, were trying to kill the decision with a "thousand cuts".

Gaelle Krikorian of the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said he could not understand why governments, who were buying medicines, wanted to steal a mask themselves in price negotiations with drug companies.

“We want to open the black box,” he said.

James Love, director of Knowledge Economy International, said that while the decision was not compulsory, asking companies to report the cost of clinical trials was controversial.

“There is a strong possibility that the delegates agree a decision that doesn't touch costs at all,” he said.

The service will end on Tuesday.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Edited by Alexandra Hudson

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