Essential medicines and health products

Pharmaceutical sector governance: critical to universal health coverage

Countries are being urged to invest in governance in their pharmaceutical sector, as an important building block of universal health coverage.

Good governance means having robust processes in deciding which services to provide, who to cover, how to reduce out-of-pocket payments and how to fund health care.

This is important to ensure the best use of funds, high trust in the healthcare system, the proper use of quality medicines and good policy making.

“Good governance underpins improved health service delivery and access to quality and affordable medicines – and ultimately, a healthier population,” said Kees De Joncheere, director of WHO’s Essential Medicines and Health Products Department.

WHO’s Good Governance for Medicines (GGM) programme is commemorating 10 years of operation with a consultation of Member States, partners and other stakeholders in WHO’s South East Asian and Western Pacific Regions in Manila.

GGM has involved 37 countries around the world, and involves three main steps: a transparency assessment, the development of a governance framework and the implementation of a national governance programme.

A keynote panel session was held with the Medicines Transparency Alliance Philippines, in which the members shared their experience of improving transparency though multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

The Medicines Transparency Alliance programme has led to the establishment of a credible multi-stakeholder platform that has made significant policy recommendations.

“The importance of good governance for achieving global health goals is recognized by the Sustainable Development Goals as relevant to every development goal,” said the focal point for WHO’s Good Governance for Medicines programme, Deirdre Dimancesco. “This emphasizes the need for transparency and public involvement in healthcare decision making.”

For more information on the Good Governance for Medicines programme contact Deirdre Dimancesco.