More than 110 participants attended the event co-organised by the Department of Health of South Africa, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Unitaid and the Medicines Patent Pool on the sidelines of the 71st World Health Assembly on Thursday 24 May 2018 in Geneva.

Representatives from governments, international organisations, industry and civil society all gathered to discuss access to affordable treatment in the context of Universal Health Coverage.

Marie-Paule Kieny, Chair of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) Governance Board, detailed the MPP’s new five-year strategy for accelerating access to life-saving medicines in developing countries and took this opportunity to introduce the incoming Executive Director of the foundation, Charles Gore.

Esteban Burrone, MPP Head of Policy, then summarised the key findings of a feasibility study conducted to explore a potential expansion of the MPP’s activities into patented essential medicines.

Following this introduction, Lelio Marmora, Unitaid Executive Director; Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Deputy Director General for Programmes; Nora Kronig Romero, Switzerland Federal Office of Public Health Vice-Director General, Ambassador for Global Health; Damiano de Felice, Access to Medicines Foundation Director of Strategy; Rajiv Kumar Chander, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Office at Geneva; and Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director-General at South Africa’s National Department of Health, exchanged viewpoints and raised interesting questions during a lively panel discussion.