GÖG-Colloquium | How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted international initiatives to improve access to medicines?

Beginn der Veranstaltung
13.12.2021 17:30 Uhr
Ende der Veranstaltung
13.12.2021 19:00 Uhr
online via Zoom
Foto Kiusiang Tay-Teo
Foto Sarah Garner
Foto Jo De Cock

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges for the provision and supply of essential medicines and the vulnerability of the health system in a global health crisis. Barriers to access include high prices, shortages, ineffective policies or empty pipelines. There is not only a need for rapid patient access to safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 therapeutics, but also to medicines in further important therapeutic areas. Strategies have been discussed, piloted and put in place to promote the development, production, procurement, distribution and availability of urgently needed medicines. Since this is not only a national problem, various initiatives have been launched in recent years to pool resources, engage with stakeholders and cooperate across national borders.

The aim of the online event is to inform about ongoing initiatives in the pharmaceutical policy field, to present their objectives and activities and to highlight the contributions of these initiatives to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We look forward to your participation via Zoom and request online registration. Participation is free of charge.


Setting the scene
Nina Zimmermann, Austrian National Public Health Institute (GÖG)

Pitch presentations of initiatives in the pharmaceutical policy field:

  • WHO Fair Pricing initiative - SLIDES
    Kiusiang Tay-Teo, World Health Organization Headquarters
    The high price of many essential medicines is a major barrier to the goal of universal health coverage and primary health care. WHO works with Member States and partners to promote programs and policies that make medicines affordable and accessible to all people. As part of the initiative, WHO convenes a series of Fair Pricing Forums to enable stakeholders to discuss options for a fairer pricing system of medicine
  • WHO Oslo Medicines Initiative - SLIDES
    Sarah Garner, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe
    The WHO Oslo Medicines Initiative “Better access to effective, novel, high-priced medicines – a new vision for collaboration between the public and private sectors” is a new initiative of WHO/Europe, developed together with the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Norwegian Medicines Agency. The Initiative provides a neutral platform for the public and private sectors to jointly outline a vision for equitable and sustainable access to effective, innovative and affordable medicines.
  • Beneluxa Initiative and initiative “RWE4Decisions” - SLIDES Beneluxa, SLIDES RWE
    Jo de Cock, Former CEO of the Belgian Health Belgian National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance (INAMI-RIZIV)
    • The Beneluxa Initiative on Pharmaceutical Policy is a cross-country collaboration of five countries (Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands) with the aim to ensure sustainable access to, and appropriate use of, medicines in the participating countries. The countries collaborate in the field of horizon scanning, HTA, pricing and reimbursement and exchange of experiences in the field of pharmaceutical policies.
    • RWE4Decisions: Real-World Data (RWD) collection and Real-World Evidence (RWE) generation can play a critical role in assessing the value of treatments for patients and healthcare systems, as RWD can fill evidence gaps that might exist in clinical development programmes and bring insights into effectiveness in ‘real life’ settings.
      RWE4Decisions is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to agree what RWD can be collected for highly innovative technologies – when, by whom and how – in order to generate RWE that informs decisions by healthcare systems, clinicians and patients.

Hosting and moderation
Sabine Vogler, Austrian National Public Health Institute (GÖG)

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Kiusiang Tay-Teo PhD, is a Technical Officer at the WHO Headquarters’ Department of Health Products Policy and Standards. Dr Tay-Teo has more than 15 years of professional experiences in health and health economics, with his work spanning clinical practice, academia, industry, consulting and government. His current work at WHO Headquarters focuses on pricing policies of health products. Dr Tay-Teo was the principal author of the WHO 2018 Technical Report on Pricing of cancer medicines and its impacts; the technical lead for 2020 WHO guideline on country pharmaceutical pricing policies; one of the secretariat leads for the 2021 Fair Pricing Forum, and one of the main authors of a WHO report in 2021, entitled “Keeping the 100-year-old promise: Making access to insulin universal”.

Sarah Garner PhD, BPharm is currently the Acting Regional Advisor, Access to Medicines and Health Products, WHO Regional Office for Europe. Sarah is a pharmacist specializing in global access issues and she is responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of policy dialogue and technical support to improve patient access. This includes pharmaceutical systems strengthening, regulation, selection, HTA, pricing and procurement.

Jo De Cock is Former CEO of the National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance (RIZIV-INAMI) in Belgium (1995-2021). He has obtained a master of law and a master of criminology from the Catholic University of Louvain, where he started his professional experience as a research assistant on the Institute of Social Security on the Faculty of Law (1977-1983). He continued his career by joining the Center for political, economical and social studies where he was researcher and political advisor. From the mid eighties until the beginning of the nineties he worked as a deputy director and counselor of social affairs in the office of the Belgian Prime Minister (1985-1993). Later on he filled the position of adjunct general administrator of the National Social Security Office (1993-1995).