Past Events

January 18, 2018 – WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency for the Pharmaceutical Sector and Health Law, Ethics & Policy Seminar Series

The Benefit and Risks of Expedited Development and Regulatory Approval of New Drugs

Presented by:

Aaron Kesselheim
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School and
Director, Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL)

Thursday, January 18, 2018 – 12:30 p.m.
84 Queen’s Park, Falconer Hall, Solarium
University of Toronto

September 29, 2017 – Workshop

Governance of Pharmaceuticals Policy Workshop

Friday, September 29, 2017; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Munk School of Global Affairs
315 Bloor St. W
Toronto, ON

Corruption, understood as “the misuse of entrusted power for private gain,” is considered to be one of the biggest barriers to human development and economic growth. Corruption is without borders; it can be found in any country, in different forms, levels, and types of organizations and institutions . In the health sector annually, an estimated $5.3 trillion is spent worldwide on providing health services, yet as much as 6 percent or $300 billion USD is lost to corruption and errors according to the World Health Organization. Corruption negatively impacts public health budgets, the price of health services and medicines, and the quality of care and medical products; as well, it threatens a country’s ability to provide universal health coverage by increasing the price of health care. Corruption diverts resources from the public sector, making it difficult to appropriately fund operations and maintenance that help ensure increased access and quality care. The pharmaceutical sector is particularly vulnerable to corruption given it is lucrative, technically complex, and composed of many stakeholders with varying degrees of accountability.

This one day seminar will provide an opportunity for health care professionals and researchers to gain a deeper understanding of how corruption and lack of good governance can have an impact on pharmaceutical services and importantly provide strategies and tactics to educate participants on how to counter vulnerabilities within the sector.


September 28, 2017 – Seminar

Tackling corruption in procurement: how open contracting improved healthcare in Nigeria, Ukraine and Honduras

Consultant, Transparency International UK

Thursday, September 28, 2017 – 12:00 pm
Room 450, 144 College Street
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto

Hosted by: Dr. Jillian Kohler; (416) 946-8708; email:


June 13, 2017 – Book Launch for Joel Lexchin

Doctors in Denial: Why Big Pharma and the Canadian medical profession are too close for comfort


For more information, click here

May 23, 2017

Should Canada Develop A List Of Essential Medicines?

Munk School of Global Affairs, Room N108, North House
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario

May 23, 2017, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Nicola Magrini
Secretary of the Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines;
Policy, Access and Use Team; Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products
(EMP/PAU); World Health Organization

Lars Gustaffson
Professor, senior consultant; Division of Clinical Pharmacology; Department of Laboratory
Medicine; Karolinska Institutet; Karolinska University Hospital


The World Health Organization recommends that each state define its own list of essential medicines. Essential medicines lists generally contain hundreds of medicines including treatments for acute conditions (e.g. pneumonia, anaphylaxis, sprained ankles) and chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, HIV-AIDS, hypertension). Lists of essential medicines can help governments ensure adequate healthcare services are delivered by identifying the medications that are needed by people.

More than 100 countries have developed essential medicine lists. Canada is not one of them.

Should Canada develop a list of essential medicines? We will learn from two international experts about the benefits and challenges of creating an essential medicines list: Dr Nicola Magrini from the World Health Organization’s Essential medicines group and Professor Lars Gustaffson from the Swedish “Wise List”. Then we will hear the reactions of Canadian decision makers before we open up the discussion to involve all participants.

This event is supported by the WHO Collaborating Center for Governance, Accountability and Transparency for the Pharmaceutical Sector.

Register at:


February 2, 2017 – WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency for the Pharmaceutical Sector and Health Law, Ethics & Policy Seminar Series

Access to Medicine – Benchmarking pharmaceutical companies in weak regulatory environments

Presented by:

Researcher, Access to Medicines Foundation (The Netherlands)

Thursday, February 2, 2017 – 12:30 p.m.
Solarium (Room FA2), Falconer Hall, Faculty of Law,
University of Toronto
84 Queen’s Park

Hosted by: Dr. Jillian Kohler; tel: (416) 946-8708; email:


November 28, 2016 – Symposium

Symposium: Combating Corruption in Health Care and Pharmaceuticals

Munk School of Global Affairs, Room N208
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario

November 28, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Speakers Include:

  • Sidney Wolfe, M.D., Co-founder of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group ( and long-time defender of patients’ rights. Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  • Joel Lexchin, M.D., Professor, School of Health Policy and Management, York University.
  • Kiymet Çaliyurt, Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Trakya University, Turkey.
  • James Crombie, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Université Sainte-Anne, Nova Scotia. Adjunct professor in the Dalhousie University Faculty of Health Professions.
  • Marc-André Gagnon, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University. Visiting Professor at the Ottawa Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.
  • Fred Gifford, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Michigan State University.
  • Jillian Kohler, Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector of the University of Toronto.
  • Paul D. Thacker, independent investigative journalist, based in Madrid, specializing in scientific, medical and environmental issues.

Poster for the symposium

Symposium agenda


April 29, 2016 – WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency Policy Workshop and Launch

Taking the Pulse of Governance, Accountability, and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector: Diagnosing the Issues

Sponsored by the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, Munk School of Global Affairs, and Dalla Lana School of Public Health

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016, 12:00-3:30 pm
Room PB850, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto


April 28, 2016 – Seminar

Corruption and the Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Sector: Global Policy and Structural Issues

James Sale
Programme Manager
Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Programme
Transparency International-UK
THURSDAY, April 28, 2016, 11:00 am
Room PB450 (Small Pod), 144 College Street
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto