Editorial by Dr. Arno Melitopulos

Arno Melitopulos

There has been growing interest in collecting, analyzing and sharing information about pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement policies among European countries. In response to this need, over the last 15-20 years, Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG; Austrian Health Institute) has gained in-depth expertise about pharmaceutical policies, including knowledge about medicines prices and knowledge about pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement systems in European countries.

Medicines play a crucial role in health care systems. Know-how collected by GÖG is aimed to ensure an equitable access to affordable medicines in spite of tight pharmaceutical budgets by the development of tools, networks and scientific outcome. Optimizing pharmaceutical systems contributes to making best use of efficiency potentials for the public payers and will thus guarantee the best possible provision of patients with safe and effective medicines.

It is a great pleasure that GÖG was designated in June 2010 as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies. We feel deeply honoured by this award. We understand that with this designation our scientific and networking efforts for improving access and affordability of medicines has been recognized by the World Health Organization as of global significance. As a WHO Collaborating Centre we are mandated to continue providing scientific advice and technical assistance, and we will offer it to WHO and its member states world-wide.

I am convinced that Gesundheit Österreich offers a reliable scientific framework for addressing crucial pharmaceutical policy issues of the future, with the highly qualified and motivated staff of the Pharma Team who are dedicated to solidarity and fairness.

I wish the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies a continuation of its successful work.

Dr. Arno Melitopulos

Previous General Manager of the Gesundheit Österreich GmbH, serving at the institution from 2008 to 2011, during his management the Health Economics Department of Gesundheit Österreich GmbH was designated a WHO Collaborating Centre, since August 2011 Director of the Regional health insurance organisation for Tyrol (TGKK)