The Transparency Observatory Attributes Two Awards For 2019

The Transparency in medicines policies Awards are attributed in recognition to actions that contributed to the implementation of transparency in medicines and health products policies. The 2019 Awards were attributed to two individuals with outstanding contributions to increase transparency at French national and international level.

 

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The Observatory (OTMeds) Attributes Two Awards For Transparency In Medicines Policies For 2019

Press release - Wednesday, February the 26th, 2020


The Transparency in medicines policies Awards are attributed in recognition to actions that contributed to the implementation of transparency in medicines and health products policies, in particular those linked to the issues of the prices and to the funding of research and development (R&D). The 2019 Awards were attributed to two individuals with outstanding contributions to increase transparency at French national and international level.

Why is transparency in medicines policies so critical ?


Transparency is critical to accessibility and affordability of essential medicines, and to the sustainability of health systems. It is particularly important in order to make sound and informed policy decisions that ensure universal access to medicines for all, a fundamental human right. The medical and scientific community around the world has agreed at the last World Health Assembly (WHA) that there are significant gaps in information in the entire life-cycle of medicines, from research and development (R&D) costs to the results of clinical trials, from public contributions to R&D activities to the elements that make up the final price of health products. Even the information on the actual price charged for the same product in different countries is not known either by the public nor by institutional payers, something unique only to the pharmaceutical sector.

Besides, the prices of the latest medicines marketed by pharmaceutical companies are skyrocketing, sometimes exceeding millions of euros per treatment. These very high prices are hindering the access to medicines and threatening solidarity-based health public system like in France.

In France, for more than a year, health workers in hospitals and emergency services have been mobilized to denounce their work condition: lack of health workers, closing of public hospitals throughout the country, lack of basic equipments and means to perform healthcare and even to ensure the safety of patients. In parallel, hundreds of millions of euros of cuts in the public hospital budget are being made. But the legitimacy of medicines prices is never questioned.

It is therefore critical for public authorities to have all the informations to determine which stakeholders have contributed to which level to the research and development (R&D) of a health product in order to gauge the legitimacy of the prices of medicines in order to preserve solidarity-based health system and to ensure access to healthcare everywhere in the world.

The rewarded individuals

We attribute the “International  Transparency In Medicines Policies Award 2019” to M. Luca Li Bassi, former general director of the Italian medicines agency (AIFA), for chairing the negotiations of the milestone resolution on “Improving the transparency of markets for medicines, vaccines, and other health products”, during the seventieth-second World Health Assembly last May.

M. Luca Li Bassi has also contributed to drafting the decree to improve transparency in Italy, already fully signed by the involved Ministers (Health and Finance) and that only needs to be published on the official national gazzette. It will make Italy one of the first countries to implement the resolution that the country introduced at WHA 72, jointly with several other “co-sponsor” countries.

We attribute the “Transparency In Medicines Policies Award 2019 for France“ to Ms. Caroline Fiat, Member of Parliament (MP) representing the political party La France Insoumise, who defended, jointly with other MPs and Senators amendments on transparency within the scope of the Bill on Social Security Funding for 2020, including an amendment that was adopted. Caroline Fiat has since continued this fight as the Constitutional council has censored the measure by asking public questions to the Ministers of Health. Her fight around these amendments, within the scope of this bill and the adoption of one of them, on the critical issue of the public funding to research, is so-far an unprecedented example in the world, of the implementation of the WHA 72 resolution within the legislative framework at a national level.  

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Why these awards?

Major progresses in health policies cannot be attributed to individuals alone. But it has appeared essential to us to pay tribute to critical individual and courageous actions, in a global context where democracy is threatened by the increasing power of multinationals and of a private sector disconnected from general and public interests. Moreover, it seems to us more than ever critical to shed light on people occupying institutional positions and who have introduced critical initiatives.

The actions of M. Luca Li Bassi and Ms. Caroline Fiat show that it is possible to act at many different levels. Members of civil society, members of Parliament or senior civil servants, critical political actions can be conducted by various stakeholders. Democratic life needs such strong, courageous and concrete actions, from various stakeholders, and cannot content itself with lukewarm actions. The health emergencies, which includes the fact that most of global population does not have access to basic healthcare, as well as climatic, environmental and social emergencies that the world is going through show that concrete actions cannot be constantly postponed to later and have to be implemented as soon as possible.

Through these awards, we are also greeting the fact that these two personalities have never stopped thinking to the meaning of their actions for transparency. M. Li Bassi, in particular for the access to treatment in resources limited countries, as well as in Italy where he initiated a decree to implement transparency last August.

Ms. Caroline Fiat for making the link with the fight for health workers and for the safeguard of public hospitals in France, and for the drug companies involved in the Depakine scandal to be accountable for their acts.

For the international level, we would like to pay tribute to all the countries who “co-sponsored” the resolution on transparency and who faced, during several weeks, the pressure of various countries whose governments were fiercely opposed to transparency. We also would like to greet Ms. Lenias Hwenda, representative of Zimbabwe and vice-chair of the negotiating group, as well as other representatives of countries who played a key role during the negotiation process.

For France, we would like to greet for their strong support, the Member of Parliaments M. François Ruffin (La France insoumise) and M. Adrien Quatennens (La France insoumise), as well as M. Pierre Dharréville (groupe de la gauche démocrate et républicaine), Ms. Caroline Janvier (La République en Marche), as well as the Senator Ms. Laurence Cohen (groupe communiste Républicain Citoyen et Écologiste). We would like to add to this list, among others, M. Ugo Bernalicis (La France insoumise), M. Jean-Hugues Ratenon (La France insoumise), Ms. Josiane Corneloup (Les Républicains) and M. Joël Aviragnet (Groupe des socialistes et apparentés).

We also would have liked to reward the current and new Minister of Health M. Olivier Véran (La République en Marche) for co-writing, jointly with Ms. Caroline Fiat and Ms. Caroline Janvier, the transparency amendment that was adopted. However, the fact that M. Olivier Véran rejected all the amendments on transparency during the first reading of the bill at the Parliament led the Constitutional council to censor the amendment (officially on a procedure ground). Since, the current Minister of health has never communicated anymore to reaffirm its support to the censored amendment and transparency. We now expect him to issue a decree to implement transparency and we hope to reward him with this Prize in the future.

International Transparency In Medicines Policies Award 2019

To: M. Luca Li Bassi

Former general director of the Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA)  & Chairperson of the negotiating group of the transparency resolution at WHA 72

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We attribute the “International Transparency in Medicines Policies Award 2019”  to M. Luca Li Bassi, former Director General of the Italian medicines agency (AIFA), for leading the negotiations of the milestone resolution on “Improving the transparency of markets for medicines, vaccines, and other health products”, during the seventy-second World Health Assembly last May.

M. Luca Li Bassi has also contributed to drafting the decree to improve transparency in Italy, already fully signed by the involved Ministers (Health and Finance) and that only needs to be published on the official national gazzette. It will make Italy one of the first countries to implement the resolution that the country introduced at WHA 72, jointly with several other “co-sponsor” countries.

Luca Li Bassi is a medical doctor by training, who has worked for 25 years of public health and health management experience across Australasia, Europe and Africa. He occupied different positions both in the private and the public sector, successfully working for national governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, NGO’s and research and academic institutions. Among other posts, he served at the Pharmaceutical Management Agency in New Zealand, at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and Malaria, at the International Atomic Energy Agency and more recently as Director General of the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA).

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt3vEnTVAIU&t=5s 

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Transparency In Medicines Policies Award 2019 for France


To: Ms Caroline Fiat


Member of the French Parliament (La France insoumise)

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We attribute the “Transparency In Medicines Policies Award 2019 for France“ to Ms. Caroline Fiat, Member of Parliament (MP) representing La France Insoumise, who defended, jointly with other MPs and Senators amendments on transparency within the scope of the Bill on Social Security Funding for 2020, including one of her amendment on R&D public funding that was adopted. She since has continued this fight after the Constitutional council has censored the measure. The fight around these amendments, within the scope of this bill and the adoption of one of them is a so-far unprecedented example in the world, of the implementation of the WHA 72 resolution within the legislative framework in a country.

Ms Caroline Fiat is a Member of Parliament from Meurthe et Moselle constituency since 2017. She is part of the Political group La France insoumise, and also a member of the group « Gauche Républicaine et Socialiste » and formerly a member of the French communist party. Before being elected she was working at night in EHPAD (accommodation facility for dependent elderly people). First nursing assistant to become a Member of Parliament, she is a member of the social affairs commission. Her fights are mainly on health issues, either within the Parliament or in her constituency, as shows her numerous speeches and her Parliamentary report regarding the situation in accommodation facilities for dependent elderly people, for psychiatry, for State Medical Aid, regarding the sanitary scandal of Depakine, as well as her law proposal on euthanasia.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZayFggmfSc&t=5s


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About the Transparency in medicines policies Award :

This award will be attributed each year starting from 2019, by the Observatory on Transparency in medicines policy. If you would like to report an action on transparency that was conducted in your country, please do send the information to the address: awards@transparencemedicaments.net

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