Posted on 15 December 2009

For the first time, 30 stakeholders from all seven countries participating in the pilot phase of MeTA met at a three day event in London from 7-10 December 2009, to share experiences, challenges and lessons learnt. The MeTA stakeholders shared what was happening in their respective countries, the progress they are making and the activities they are undertaking. Topics discussed included multi-stakeholder processes, data disclosure, documenting the process, evaluation and next steps for MeTA. It was an excellent meeting for those involved and it was interesting to hear about the progress being made in different countries. For example:

In Peru, one of the MeTA Council’s priorities has been around the issue of medicines quality and public perceptions of quality. The Council prioritised the issue of quality and created a prices observatory to make available to the average consumer a list of medicines prices, and the different places from where they have come. There is already some beginning of a price observatory online, but MeTA Peru is calling for legislation to recognise and legalise this observatory to give it the ‘teeth’ to regulate the industry. In addition, Peru does not have a national policy on generics and MeTA Peru is advocating for this to come into place.

In Zambia, the multi-stakeholder process and the unique positions of stakeholders has allowed for action to take place at different levels from grassroots to parliament. MeTA Zambia have debriefed all MPs about the aims of MeTA, and generated excitement about the issues. The Council now has plans to raise a motion in parliament and discuss access to medicines and the medicines supply chain on floor of parliament. At the other end of the scale, MeTA Zambia is using community outreach approaches to raise awareness of the importance of the right to health and access to medicines. To bring these issues to the community, and to raise awareness of rights and what MeTA Zambia is aiming to achieve, it is using community radio outreach and roadshows. In August 2009, community members were able to discuss their concerns or ask questions about medicines live on local radio.

In Uganda, the Government has invited the pharmaceutical sector to participate in the formulation of the next five-year strategic plan for pharmaceuticals in Uganda. It is through the MeTA process that the Government has realised that the private sector has to be involved.

“This wouldn’t have happened without MeTA. It is because of the relationships that we developed on the MeTA Council,” said Nazeem Mohamed, co-chair of the MeTA Uganda Council.

Read a report of the meeting

Categories: Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Multi-stakeholder, Peru, Philippines, Transparency, Uganda, Zambia

Soluble tablet in water