[Ip-health] estimated cost-based generic prices for the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines

Melissa Barber melissajoybarber at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 06:48:39 PST 2018

Dear colleagues,

We have just published an analysis estimating​ ​cost-based generic prices
for over 100 oral formulations on the WHO Model List of Essential
Medicines. This may be of interest to readers of the list.

I am copying the abstract and links to the paper below.

: http://gh.bmj.com/content/3/1/e000571
The full list of estimated​ ​cost-based prices​ ​can be downloaded from
the​ ​supplementary appendix,​ ​linked​ ​here:


 There are persistent gaps in access to affordable medicines. The WHO Model
List of Essential Medicines (EML) includes medicines considered necessary
for functional health systems.

 A generic price estimation formula was developed by reviewing published
analyses of cost of production for medicines and assuming manufacture in
India, which included costs of formulation, packaging, taxation and a 10%
profit margin. Data on per-kilogram prices of active pharmaceutical
ingredient exported from India were retrieved from an online database.
Estimated prices were compared with the lowest globally available prices
for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria medicines, and current prices
in the UK, South Africa
 and India.

 The estimation formula had good predictive accuracy for HIV/AIDS, TB and
malaria medicines. Estimated generic prices ranged from US$0.01 to US$1.45
per unit, with most in the lower end of this range. Lowest available prices
were greater than estimated generic prices for 214/277 (77%) comparable
items in the UK, 142/212 (67%) in South Africa and 118/298 (40%) in India.
Lowest available prices were more than three times above estimated generic
price for 47% of cases compared in the UK and 22% in South Africa.

 A wide range of medicines in the EML can be profitably manufactured at
very low cost. Most EML medicines are sold in the UK and South Africa at
prices significantly higher than those estimated from production costs.
Generic price estimation and international price comparisons could empower
government price negotiations and support cost-effectiveness calculations.

Kind regards,

Melissa Barber​

More information about the Ip-health mailing list