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Using competition law to promote access to medicines and related health technologies in low- and middle-income countries

Aug 14, 2017

As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is a growing commitment by low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to eliminate AIDS, TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, to respond to the growing non-communicable diseases burden, and to reach universal health coverage (UHC). This has led to increased demands for not only existing health technologies – medicines, vaccines and diagnostics – but also for newer, more effective, and safer ones. However, many essential health technologies can be priced out of the reach of patients and health care systems in LMICs alike.

Competition law is an important policy tool that LMICs can use to protect consumer welfare and promote industrial and economic development. It aims to restrict unfair business practices, and promote quicker introduction and increased availability of health technologies. The issue brief highlights key aspects of using competition law to promote access to health technologies from UNDP’s landmark publication “Using Competition Law to Promote Access to Health Technologies: A guidebook for low- and middle-income countries.” The issue brief intends to be a resource for policymakers, national competition authorities, national procurement agencies, health authorities, civil society and other actors who have an interest in understanding the critical role of competition authorities in promoting access to health technologies.

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