Rising medicine prices, shrinking healthcare budgets, and a broken model of pharmaceutical innovation are jeopardising access to medicines for people across Europe, particularly in Eastern European countries. To change this, governments must reform policies across government so they consistently put people’s health first.

Civil society organisations play a crucial role in initiating policy reform and holding governments to account. To build strong civil society actors in the medicines policy arena, particularly in Eastern European countries where access to medicines inequity is currently greatest in Europe, Health Action International holds free workshops for civil society representatives in partnership with in-country partners.

Workshop participants gain a thorough understanding of national and, where applicable, European Union policies that affect access to medicines and their rational use. They also develop the ability to identify and implement constructive advocacy and communications strategies and tactics to create positive policy change to improve access to medicines and rational use of medicines in their own countries.

Key Elements of Medicines Policy Workshops

  1. Who has access to medicines in (country)?
    • Country-specific data and legislation
    • Recommended policy interventions
  2. Which medicines are reimbursed in (country), and which medicines can patients access?
    • Factors that determine which medicines are reimbursed (e.g., drug development, added therapeutic value)
    • Country-specific data and legislation
    • Recommended policy interventions
  3. How much do medicines cost the patient? 
    • Mechanisms to ensure medicine affordability (e.g., out-of-pocket payments, insurance coverage)
    • Do new, on-patent medicines need to be so expensive?
    • Country-specific data and legislation
    • Recommended policy interventions
  4. Advocacy skills development
    • Advocacy strategies and tactics
    • Developing in-country campaign
    • Putting advocacy into action: next steps for implementing advocacy campaign in (country)

Key outcomes

  • Representatives of patient groups, public health NGOs, and university students have benefited from HAI’s workshops
  • HAI’s workshops have contributed to raising awareness about key barriers to affordable access to needed medicines and policy solutions
  • For HAI, the workshops have been an opportunity to expand our network of partners and contacts, especially in Eastern Europe

Past Workshops

12 December 2016
Workshop: Medicines Policy in Moldova
Flyer | Programme | Presentation (EN) | Presentation (RO)

5-8 June 2016
Summer school: Access to medicines and their rational use in Europe
Page | Flyer | Blog
Riga, Latvia

30 September 2015
Workshop: EU Medicines Policy & Access to Medicines
EventFlyer | Presentation
United Nations House
Bucharest, Romania

7 July 2015
Workshop: EU medicines policy
Flyer |  Blog | Presentation
Riga, Latvia

These events received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014–2020).