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CGD Policy Blogs

 

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Medicines for Rare Conditions: The Global Effects of Steep US Prices

Despite their intended use for rare diseases, so-called orphan drugs contribute substantially to prescription drug spending; in fact, it is estimated that in just two years’ time, orphan drugs will constitute more than 20 percent of the market for global pharmaceutical sales. Nowhere is this impact more outsized than in the US, where orphan drugs are routinely priced at hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. But while prices may be especially steep in the US, the effects of US pricing can adversely affect orphan drug pricing elsewhere, too. It’s time for US policymakers to more closely scrutinize orphan drug pricing dynamics.

What You Should Know About Global Health Financing Transitions: Five Key Takeaways

In recent years many global health institutions—particularly Gavi and the Global Fund—have adopted eligibility and transition frameworks for the countries they support. These frameworks lay out criteria under which countries will lose eligibility for their support, and, typically, a gradual timeframe to phase out external financing. The question of how these transitions will play out in practice—and whether global health progress will be put at risk through premature or poorly planned transitions—is a hot topic in global health.

Sizing Up Health Commodity Markets in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Take One

What can we say about the relative size and composition of health commodity markets across different countries? We took a stab at piecing together publicly available data sources to find an initial answer for low- and middle-income countries as part of the background work to inform the CGD Working Group on the Future of Global Health Procurement.

More Health for the Money through Better Purchasing Decisions: The Case of Ghana

Whether it’s called strategic purchasing, evidence-informed commissioning, or value-based insurance, the quest to squeeze better value out of existing resources is global. But lack of clarity regarding global and national healthcare investment goals, coupled with low technical capacity in ministries of health and insurance funds and multiple competing interests for attracting healthcare dollars, all make proactive evidence-informed buying hard to achieve. The global health community ought to help Ghana and countries like it strengthen their national systems for allocating resources including when selecting, negotiating prices, and procuring medicines for their populations.

Three Lessons from the OIG’s Wambo.org Audit

The Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a new audit report on Wambo.org, its online procurement platform for drugs and other health commodities. The headline: despite high marks from its users, Wambo.org is not yet on track to deliver the projected savings. But more than the headline, a close read of the report narrative helps us understand why reality does not yet reflect the Global Fund’s optimistic assumptions—and, reading between the lines, suggests three important lessons for the Global Fund and other international funders

The Changing Landscape of Global Health Procurement: Acting Now to Prepare for the Future

Health products—including drugs, devices, diagnostics, and vector control tools—are essential for meeting the healthcare needs of any population. Right now, many low- and lower-middle-income countries rely on donor-managed mechanisms to procure a large share of these health commodities. But this status quo won’t stay static for long, and the global health community must prepare for sweeping changes in global health and procurement over the next 10–20 years. Here’s some of what we see happening now and on the immediate horizon.

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