France to push for G7 drug price regulation


France's president Francois Hollande plans to push for international drug price regulation at the 2016 G7 Summit in Japan.

At the meeting - to be held on 26th-27th May in Ise-Shima, Japan - Hollande will put forward a plan to control drug pricing, as part of a general worldwide drive to make life-saving medication more affordable.

"We need to initiate this process with firmness, and the president wants it to be irreversible," a source told Reuters.

Drug price regulation has been a hot topic in recent months and many individuals and institutions have made moves to address the issue. US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton heavily criticised drug pricing in the US and has promised to install regulatory standards if she makes it into the White House, whilst GlaxoSmithKline recently announced it would not file for patent protection in developing countries to improve access to live-saving medication in poorer countries.

The situation for many countries is one of retaining a balance: drug pricing needs to be reined in whilst pricing needs to be high enough for pharmaceutical companies to continue investing in new research and development. Many governments may not want to address this question in their home pharmaceutical territories for fear of upsetting this balance.

The issue of drug price regulation will continue to be addressed at the Health Ministers' Meeting in Kobe City this September where pharma companies could be involved.

Marco Ricci

3 May, 2016