How MeTA Works
In each MeTA country stakeholders will establish a multi-stakeholder MeTA forum to agree an annual work programme which will be coordinated by a national meta secretariat, also appointed by the MeTA forum.
The forum meetings themselves represent a significant opening up of a previously opaque process. The groups represented in the forum may have never before sat together to talk about ways of improving patients’ access to medicines. Bringing together different interest groups is a key element in the MeTA approach.
In the pilot phase, participants made publicly available existing information on the medicines supply chain, and to add data where there were gaps in information. This data opacity might include information on availability, price, promotion and use of medicines, and where possible identify ways of overcoming them.
Governments taking part in MeTA commit themselves to disclosure of a standard set of core data about medicines – and to involve civil society, business and other sectors in using the data to help confront problems in the pharmaceutical market. As a result, people previously denied access to important medicines data, for example, civil society organisations and members of the public, will be able to access new information through websites and publications and be able to take action to hold different stakeholders accountable.
MeTA also brings an international perspective by involving stakeholders who operate at a global level. This is an important component, because the pharmaceutical market is globalised and the transnational trade in medicines is often poorly understood, weakly regulated and opaque. Many MeTA stakeholders participate in international discussions and provide feedback about the key issues.
An International MeTA Secretariat steers MeTA by identifying trends, reviewing work and making recommendations. It also facilitates daily technical and strategic operations at country and international levels, agrees the support to be provided to participating countries and coordinates funders and technical support partners.