Finding the common beat

Towards a new vision of collaboration to improve access to medicines

Wednesday, 30 September 2020 | 14:00-15:30 | Room 1

Organised by WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, and the Norwegian Medicines Agency, in collaboration with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Equitable and sustainable access to safe, effective, affordable and quality assured medicines and health products is critical to Universal Health Coverage and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Despite this goal being shared by the public and private sectors, achieving it has proved difficult. Patients, health systems and governments expect the right to reasonably priced pharmaceuticals that meet their needs, whilst investors and the pharmaceutical industry expect to earn sufficient profits to compensate for the risk inherent in developing or manufacturing those medicines. Achieving this elusive goal will require much more unity, transparency and coherence between the public and private sectors on a number of controversial topics and sustainability is critical.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that this collaboration is possible and panel members will explore how the lessons learnt can be built upon. Participants will also launch a new initiative highlighted in the new WHO European Programme of Work “United Action for Better Health”. The initiative will provide a platform for member States and stakeholders to collaborate and set out a new vision for better access, and consultations and high-level meetings will follow over the course of 2021 and 2022 and seek commitments for joint action to ensure that the dance does not leave anyone behind.  

Session Recording

Speakers & panelists


  • Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe, World Health Organization
  • Bjørn-Inge Larsen, Special representative for international health, Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services
  • Clemens Martin Auer, President, European Health Forum Gastein


  • Audun Hågå, Director, Norwergian Medicines Agency
  • Nathalie Moll, Director General, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations
  • Marco Greco, President, European Patients' Forum
  • Sarah Garner, Acting Programme Manager, Access to Medicines and Health Products, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Moderated by

  • Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Director, Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Dimitra Panteli, Programme Manager, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies


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