The "Price Information Exchange for Medicines" (PIEMEDS) is a regional platform to promote price transparency for improved medicine access. It mainly contains procurement prices, along with other publicly available prices shared voluntarily by participating countries. Prices are available for essential medicines and some other high price medicines. The project intends to facilitate regular monitoring of the medicine price information. Data from national focal points are collected and processed by the World Health Organization.
As recommended in a WHO regional strategy for improving access to essential medicines, this information system was developed to addresses these relevant facts:
- price is a significant barrier to access medicines
- there are major differences in medicines prices across countries in the region;
- exchanging price information among countries may help in-country negotiations with suppliers
and influence policy and managerial decisions to take measures towards reducing prices based on reference medicine prices
Comparative prices in this website have been illustrated in its pilot implementation in 2009. Initially, selected 40 medicines are studied with the assistance of the UP National Telehealth Center. At present, the database was expanded to over 6000 drug formularies and cover up-to-date WHO Essential Medicines List (2017). High cost innovative medicines are also included for authorized country representatives. System features have also refined data collection mechanism with upload interface, local currency conversion, file sharing, and various data visualization.