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Medicines : rational use of medicines

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
May 2010

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This fact sheet provides some useful information about rational use of medicines. Rational use of medicines refers to the correct, proper and appropriate use of medicines. Rational use requires that patients receive the appropriate medicine, in the proper dose, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community

Access to medicines via competition not protectionism and price regulation

OPLAS, Bienvenido Nonoy
February 2010

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This paper is based on a presentation given in the Philippines on the right to health. Several topics were tackled there, from drug prices and price control, to drug availability, patent for new medicines, health insurance, among others. The focus was on the philosophy of 'health as a right' juxtaposed with 'health as personal responsibility'. The paper concludes that rather than favouring one group of pharma companies and demonising another, public policy should focus on expanding the people’s options in choosing the right mixture of medicines and healthcare that are appropriate for them given their existing resources and health needs

Action from the grassroots to parliament : access to essential medicines gets an airing in Zambia

CHOTA, Lazarus
et al
January 2010

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The unique position of stakeholders participating in the Medicines Transparency Alliance Zambia, means that the group are able to initiate discussions at many levels from grassroots to parliament. This is of great value in highlighting critical issues about the lack of access to essential medicines experienced by many citizens in Zambia and makes progress towards finding some solutions

The race against drug resistance : a report of the Center for Global Development’s drug resistance working group

NUGENT, Rachel
BLACK, Emma
BEITH, Alexandra
2010

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This report makes clear the need for urgent action to address the growing crisis of drug resistance. While there is no simple solution, there are achievable steps,that the health community, governments, donors, and the pharmaceutical industry can take to slow the spread of drug resistance. It says that retaining the medicines available now, developing new ones and other technology, and ensuring these resources continue to save lives in future generations must become a priority for global and national health organisations, both public and private

Testing treatments : better research for better healthcare

EVANS, Imogen
THORNTON, Hazel
CHALMERS, Iain
2010

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This book highlights issues that are fundamental to ensuring that research into the effects of treatments is soundly based and designed to answer questions that matter to patients and the health professionals to whom they turn for help in critically assessing treatment options

Taxing essential medicines : a sick tax that hinders access to treatment

HEALTH ACTION INTERNATIONAL (HAI)
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
December 2009

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This issue of the bulletin includes articles about the taxes on medicines and access to medicines; a report of a survey about medicine prices and availability in Latin America and the Caribbean; and about poor access to diabetes care in the Philippines

Medicines : corruption and pharmaceuticals

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
December 2009

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This fact sheet gives a brief overview of the key facts regarding corruption in the pharmaceutical supply chain. It focuses on unethical practices in the medicines supply chain, factors contributing to pharmaceutical corruption, the impact of corruption, and the response of the WHO

Towards equitable access to medicines for the rural poor : analyses of insurance claims reveal rural pharmacy initiative triggers price competition in Kyrgyzstan

WANING, Brenda
et al
December 2009

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This article examines medicines price competition that ensued in a rural village in Kyrgyzstan after the opening of a small network of non-profit pharmacies created and managed by an NGO. While the rural pharmacies were created to increase access to medicines in villages where no pharmacies existed, the project had unexpected, substantial spillover effects, spurring medicines price reductions in pharmacies quite far away

The role of local manufacturers in improving access to essential medicines|Creating opportunities for the scale-up of local pharmaceutical production

MOHAMED, Nazeem
November 2009

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The local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is a hotly contested issue in many countries. It runs to the heart of key concerns such as quality, availability, and price of medicines. Some of the arguments of the local manufacturers are set out in this article by one of the co-chairs of the Medicines Transparency Alliance Uganda Council and Chairman of the Uganda Pharmaceutical Manufacturer's Association (UPMA)

Survey of the quality of selected antimalarial medicines circulating in Madagascar, Senegal, and Uganda

UNITED STATES PHARMACOPEIA DRUG AND INFORMATION PROGRAM
November 2009

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This report focuses on three of 10 sub-Saharan countries that were covered by a study examining the quality of key antimalarial medicines. A total of 491 samples of anti-malarial medicines (both artemisinin-based combination therapy and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine products) were collected from the public sector, the regulated private sector and the informal market in these three countries. The study revealed a high failure rate among sampled antimalarials in all three countries, based both on Minilab and full-compendial or quality control laboratory testing

Special issue on access to medicines, pricing and generics

September 2009

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This issue has articles about medicine prices in Vietnam, Thailand and South Africa, generic medicines in Malaysia and Australia, anti-retroviral therapy in South Africa, and legislation and regulation in the retail pharmacy sector in low-income countries.
Southern Med Review : Vol 2, Issue 2

The push for local production, costs and benefits - a case study of Uganda’s Quality Chemicals|Africa Fighting Malaria policy paper

TAYLOR, James
et al
September 2009

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This research report considers the challenges faced by a local pharmaceutical firm - Quality Chemicals - in Uganda, which was started up as a 'solution' to reducing the high cost of medicines and improving access to medicines. "...many burdens and barriers to access continue to seriously hinder the success of such enterprises. Indirect government subsidies to exporters selling into African markets, and pressure by donors and lobbyists on innovator producers to offer developing countries subsidised prices, actually undermine the competitiveness and viability of these nascent firms. Furthermore, the focus on drug pricing and local production can actually undermine the overall aim to increase access to medicines"

Shifting allegiances in access to medicines : the Medicines Transparency Alliance in Ghana

CHETLEY, Andrew
DODOO, Alexander
OFORI-ADJEI, David
September 2009

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This article looks at the ideas that Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) is testing, in order to achieve its long term goal to make high-quality essential medicines available and affordable to poor people who are currently unable to access them; and at how these ideas are being put into practice in Ghana. Ghana is one of the seven countries involved in the pilot phase of MeTA, the other countries are Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia

A trade agreement’s impact on access to generic drugs

SHAFFER, Ellen R
BRENNER, Joseph E
August 2009

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This article reports on a study which examined the availability of certain drugs in Guatemala and found that the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) intellectual property rules reduced access to some generic drugs already on the market and delayed the new entry of other generics. It found that some drugs protected from competition in Guatemala will become open for generic competition in the United States before generic versions will be legally available in Guatemala

Keeping it real : combating the spread of fake drugs in poor countries

HARRIS, Julian
STEVENS, Philip
MORRIS, Julian
May 2009

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This paper is about substances that are sold as medicines yet are not what they purport to be. Some of these substances are deliberately mislabeled, i.e. counterfeit. Others may have been inadvertently mislabelled or the pills contaminated during manufacture. Others may originally have been exactly as they claim, but due to poor storage have degraded and are consequently substandard. The paper is composed of four parts. The first looks at the scope of the problem in less developed countries; the second examines the health impacts of fake medicines; the third section considers the main causes of the problem; and the final section offers some possible solutions

Medicines use in primary care in developing and transitional countries : fact book summarizing results from studies reported between 1990 and 2006

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
May 2009

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Irrational use of medicines is one of the most serious global public health problems we face today. Improving use requires regular monitoring and application of effective interventions, both of which are often not done, particularly in many lower income countries. To address this issue, WHO created a database of medicines use in in primary care settings in developing and transitional countries. Quantitative information has been extracted from 679 studies conducted in 97 countries and on 386 interventions (from 313 studies). The medicines use database has allowed the first systematic quantitative review of studies measuring medicines use in developing and transitional countries and the results are now presented

Malaria treatment in Nigeria : the role of patent medicine vendors

OLADEPO, Oladimeji
et al
March 2009

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"This scoping study provides a quick assessment of the malaria treatment markets and the role played by patent medicine vendors in Nigeria, and offers ways to improve the regulation and provision of anti-malarial drugs. It documented the sources of drugs in the three states and people’s problems in getting access to appropriate treatment for malaria"

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