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Essential medicines for mothers and children: a key element of health systems. Access to medicines and public pharmaceutical policy.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):14-15.Medicines, when used appropriately, are one of the most cost effective interventions in health care. European countries spend an important part of their health budget on medicines, from 12% on average for the EU countries to more than 30% for the Newly Independent States (NIS) countries. Whereas in EU countries the larger part of the medicines expenditures are publicly funded through taxes and/or social health insurance, in the NIS and in the south eastern European countries it is often the patients who have to pay directly for the drugs themselves. This means that many patients simply do not get the drugs they need because they cannot afford them, and also may force families to incur enormous expenses as they sell their belongings in order to pay for their drugs and their health care.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, 2002 Apr. ix, 205 p. (Harvard Series on Population and International Health)This book presents the results of the workshop. The essays in this volume offer some fresh perspectives on partnerships, probe some troubling questions, and provide empirical evidence of both benefits and challenges of public-private partnerships. The participants in the meeting also achieved some progress in creating a shared vocabulary, or at least shared understanding, on points of contention, suggesting that dialogue among partisans in public health can help move debates about critical issues forward. (excerpt)
TDR NEWS. 1999 Feb; (58):2, 4.New Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) is a public/private, nonprofit initiative to develop 1 new drug against malaria every 5 years. It will operate under the umbrella of Roll Back Malaria, a new project launched by World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland. The UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) helped establish the MMV through its product R&D unit, and there has been considerable industrial input. The World Bank and the Global Forum for Health Research are other international agencies involved in the initiative, while several philanthropic organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Wellcome Trust have also played major roles. MMV will create a fund and operate by financing and resourcing a limited number of projects in a manner compatible with industrial procedures. The fund is mainly supported financially by the public sector, while a funding commitment of US$15 million/year rising to US$30 million a year is being sought. Companies are providing mainly in-kind support.
Arlington, Virginia, Partnership for Child Health Care, 1995. , 11,  p. (Trip Report; BASICS Technical Directive: 008-GU-01-015; USAID Contract No. HRN-6006-Q-08-3032)As part of a series of activities designed to reduce morbidity and mortality from acute respiratory infections in children under the age of 5 in Guatemala, a consultant from the BASICS (Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival) program visited Guatemala in 1995 to analyze, modify, and field test the protocol developed by the USAID Mission to document the degree to which drugs prescribed for pneumonia are available in the community through the private sector. This field report provides background information and describes the current situation in Guatemala in terms of availability of drugs in the public sector through the Ministry of Health, the Drogueria Nacional, municipalities, and the Pan American Health Organization. Relevant activities in the private sector are also described, including the for-profit businesses as well as services provided by UNICEF, the European Union, and nongovernmental organizations. A brief overview of one health area gives an example of the current situation. The result of this consultancy visit was the determination that the situation merited adjustment of the originally requested study and that the survey as designed would likely require modification and application within target communities. Included among the appendices is the original protocol developed for assessing community drug availability.
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.
Role of the pharmaceutical industry of the developing countries in research on fertility regulation.
In: Diczfalusy E, Diczfalusy A, ed. Research on the regulation of human fertility: needs of developing countries and priorities for the future, Vol. 2. Background documents. Copenhagen, Denmark, Scriptor, 1983. 975-86.The pharmaceutical industry of the developing countries is at present not equipped for and unlikely to contribute much to the discovery and development of new fertility regulating agents, but could play an effective role in process development, and in the organization of clinical trials. In view of the crucial role of the pharmaceutical industry to bring the research effort on a new contraceptive to fruition, and because of the waning interest of the industries of the developed countries in this field, the pharmaceutical companies of the developing countries should be encouraged to get involved in research by special incentives from their national governments, such as tax exemption for investment made for inhouse research of for sponsored research. The subsidiaries of multinational corporations, which dominate the pharmaceutical industry in the developing world, must establish research centers in these countries with efforts focussed on local priority health problems, such as contraceptive development; such research conducted in some of the developing countries would be more cost effective. It would be necessary to establish government or public sector research institutes to supplement the research facilities of the private industries, particularly for animal toxicology studies; these institutions could even serve as regional centers, supported by international agencies, since some of the smaller countries may not be able to develop their own centers. The collaboration between industrial, academic and public secotr institutions should be encouraged and formalized to establish partnership in research on contraceptive development; the exact mode and form would depend upon the scientific and technical institutional structure and industrial development status of each country. (author's modified)