One of the principle determinants of access to essential medicines is price. Countries in the Region of the Americas face important challenges in medicines pricing including: lack of information and transparency in pricing; inappropriate price referencing in public procurement; weak regulatory frameworks (procurement, financing, intellectual property) that impact medicine price; fragmented strategies promoting generic medicine penetration in markets; and differential pricing policies that are not necessarily equity based. The issue of price is especially important when we consider that in some countries up to 50% of household expenditure in health is spent on medicines.

PAHO is approaching the issue of medicines price from the Economic Regulatory perspective, recognizing that a medicine price may be directly impacted by policy and regulatory frameworks within countries, developed and implemented by national governments.


Components of the Technical Cooperation Program

Assessment of regulatory and policy frameworks impacting price:
(download presentation) 

Assessment of prices (particularly HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria):

-Work of the GAN, Price Negotiations Outcomes

-Processes for Monitoring

-PAHO Publications:

Development and implementation of Generic Medicines Policy  (download article on the situation in the Americas)

Development and implementation of strategies to promote and rationalize Access to High Cost Medicines ( pdf download document )

Working Group to promote the establishment of Pricing Databases for transparency and referencing in public procurement ( pdf download terms of reference )

Listserve ECONMED 

Implementation of medicines pricing studies using the WHO/HAI methodology

  • medicines pricing studies:

- pdf Medicine Prices, Availability, Affordability and Price Components in Peru  (2007)

- pdf Precio, Disponibilidad y Asequibilidad de Medicamentos y Componentes del Precio en Colombia  (2009)

- pdf Estudio de Precios, Disponibilidad y Acceso de Medicamentos y Componentes del Precio en Bolivia  (2009)

- pdf Precio, Disponibilidad y Asequibilidad de Medicamentos y Componentes del Precio en Ecuador  (2008)