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Buenos Aires, July 2018 (PAHO/WHO)- Representatives from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) met with the Ministry of Health (MoH) from Argentina to advance together in a comprehensive policy on access to medicines, and in the development of criteria for medical technology coverage in the country.

"We discussed some of the strengths of Argentina, such as a strengthened national regulatory authority, a local productive base of medicines, and medicines coverage of many of the health providers. And we discussed how to integrate these elements and improve access for people in an equitable way and ensure affordability", said Analía Porrás, Unit Chief of Medicines and Health Technologies at PAHO.

"In the last months, Argentina has made important progress through the joint purchase of medicines, with a reduction in prices. In this sense, we discussed how this mechanism can be further enhanced and what are the alternatives to improve equitable access", added Porrás.

Adolfo Rubinstein, Argentina´s Minister of Health, explained that "two of our main objectives are related to expanding access to medicines based on price reductions, and improving medical technologies coverage conditions, with more objective, explicit, and transparent criteria". The Minister also stressed that "PAHO is an institution with a lot of experience and expertise, and this is a working meeting with the technical teams of the agency and the ministry, as well the ANMAT, and different departments that work on these issues, to agree on strategies to improve those objectives".

During the meeting, participants also reviewed the guidelines related to the registration, authorization, and control of medicines, and the role of the National Agency of Medical Technology (AGNET). "Part of the integrated medicines policy includes an entity that can evaluate in a scientific and objective manner the cost-effectiveness of new therapeutic options, or options that are being used, but they do not add value to a country or are not used in all of its fullness. The agency, then, represents an opportunity to improve the selection of medicines for the health system, "said Porrás.

Argentina avanza en una política integral de medicamentos con apoyo de la OPS