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. A high-level meeting will be held March 2021 in Oslo and will seek commitments for joint action to ensure that the dance does not leave anyone behind.  

Speakers & panelists



  • 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, Health Products and Pharmaceuticals, 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, Research Fellow at the Department for Health Care Management, Berlin University of Technology