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Developing Countries: Medical Treatments

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 12 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the country pilots launched by the Medicines Transparency Alliance on increasing transparency and accountability in the medicines supply chain. (233776)

The Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) was launched by the Secretary of State on 15 May 2008. It is too early at this stage to evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative. Scoping reports that informed the design of MeTA, and a series of baseline studies now being initiated in each country, will provide a basis against which the effectiveness of MeTA can be judged at the end of the pilot phase. Effectiveness will be measured in terms of increased transparency and accountability around the price, availability, quality and promotion of medicines.

Progress has been made in implementing MeTA. An international secretariat has been appointed and is now working with seven countries to establish local multi-stakeholder groups—including Government, private sector and civil society—which will then agree and take forward country work programmes. The Philippines is already implementing MeTA and launch dates have been set in Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan and Peru. Work continues with Uganda and Zambia to finalise their plans. The World Bank and World Health Organisation are active in providing technical support to MeTA countries. And the first meeting of the International Advisory Group was successfully held in London in September. It was attended by representatives from the MeTA countries and leading figures from international NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, professional organisations, investors and international development partners.

Further information on MeTA can be found at