Access to expensive essential medicines as part of Universal Health Coverage

IMG_5410.jpgThe Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, Kazan Federal University, and Cochrane Russia welcomed in Kazan Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil in his capacity of Honorary International Member of the Academy of Sciences with two-day visit, which became a truly International Knowledge Translation event in the field of Essential Medicines, held in Kazan 16-17 November, 2017.

On the 16th November Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil gave a public lecture at the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences.

Over 300 people representing health and research community of Tatarstan gathered for the public lecture. The Vice President of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan Vadim V. Khomenko officially opened the ceremony of public lecture and gave a warm welcome to Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil and participants on behalf of the President of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, Myakzyum Salakhov.

The theme of the public lecture was 'Access to expensive essential medicinesas part of Universal Health Coverage' and aimed to empower the audience and beyond with knowledge and understanding of the Concept of Essential Medicines in the current increasingly complex environment of pharmaceutical innovation and marketing.

In his speech, Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil gave a detailed account of the global situation around the Essential Medicines, access to medicines, their availability, affordability and pricing policies. Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population, are selected with due regard to disease prevalence, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness, are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times, in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality, and at a price the individual and the community can afford. Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil noted that pharmaceutical companies claim that high prices are necessary for research and development of new drugs in the future and explained why this is not true and why pricing policies of pharmaceutical companies prevent equitable access to new and very effective medicines for the patients who need them the most. People in middle-income countries are affected the most, because they have very strict patent legislation, which does not allow the use of some exceptions and flexibilities working in low-income countries. Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil provided an update on the situation in middle- and high-income countries and practical recommendations that could help solve the problem.

The public lecture was a huge success and marked the new level of collaborative work at the Tatarstan Academy of Scienceswith Professor Hans V. Hogerzeil for Access to Medicines as part of Universal Health Coverage and the Right to Health.

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