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Tropical Doctor. 1984 Jan; 14(1):3-7.On April 27, 1982 the Ministry of Health of the government of Bangladesh, set up an 8-man expert committee to evaluate all the registered pharmaceutical products presently available, and to formulate a draft National Drug Policy. Objectives are: 1) to provide support for ensuring quality and availability of drugs; 2) to reduce drug prices; 3) to eliminate useless, nonessential, and harmful drugs from the market; 4) to promote local production of finished drugs; 5) to ensure coordination among government branches; 6) to develop a drug monitoring and information system; 7) to promote the scientific development and application of unani, ayurvedic, and homeopathic medicines; 8) to improve the standard of hospital and retail pharmacies; and 9) to insure good manufacturing practices. 16 criteria were agreed on as guidelines for evaluating the drugs on the country's market. Drugs in Bangladesh have been classified into 3 categories. The 1st is drugs that are positively harmful. They should be banned immediately and withdrawn from the market. There are 265 locally manufactured drugs and 40 imported drugs in this category. The 2nd, drugs to be slightly reformulated by eliminating some of their requirements. There are 134 drugs in this category. The 3rd is drugs that do not conform to 1 or more of the 16 criteria/guidelines. There are over 500 drugs in this category. The new drug policy will produce a saving of 800 million taka (US $32.4 million). Drug supply in Bangladesh is a problem. The public sector distributes 20% of the total. In the private sector, drugs are supplied through import and local production. Investment for research by the pharmaceutical companies is essential. The principles laid down by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations for the supply of good medicine needs to be put into practice.
Social Science and Medicine. 1983; 17(19):1419-31.The Japanese level of health is one of the highest in the world, although the level is not uniform throughtout Japan. Preventive health care services are not integrated with medical care services. While efforts are being made in the health education subsystem of the primary health care services, organization is weak and funding and training of personnel are inadequate. Health specialists have failed to grasp the real meaning of primary health care, which includes the integration of services. Medical specialists also do not fully understand the idea of comprehensive primary health care. According to the Alma Ata Declaration, a conference sponsored by WHO and UNICEF in 1978, primary health care is to be responsive to sociocultural and political conditions and intimately tied to the development of other sectors of society. The recommendations of the Conference, to be achieved by 2000 are: 1) Primary health care must be linked with all other sectors of development; 2) Maldistribution of health services facilities and personnel must be overcome, so that care is truly accessible to all people; with the help of the community, disparities in health indices can be corrected; 3) Training and education is needed to develop a full understanding of primary health care among the politicians, the administrators, the opinion leaders and the public in general; 4) Training in health education should be a part of the basic training of health policy decision makers. Health education for the public should emphasize planning and organizational skills as well as more basic health education; 5) Training and education is needed to develop among medical specialists a respect for the work of allied health professionals, an awareness of the necessity of team work in primary health care, and a willingness to participate in team efforts; 6) Medical practitioners must help foster awareness of components of healthy living and encourage lay people to assume greater responsibility to the medical practitioners; 7) Paramount is the need for integration of medical care services and health care services at all levels. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has recently proposed special legislation which would integrate health activities and medical care for the aged. Tables and charts provide statistical summaries of mortality, causes of death, age structure projections, urban-rural residence, life expectancy, medical expenditures, clinical load for physicians, number of hospital beds, and staffing of health centers for Japan and selected comparisons to other Western Countries.