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Access to Medicines in Developing Countries

U.N. Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines

Promoting Innovation and Access to Health Technologies

Many people in need of life-saving treatments don’t receive them. The United Nations’ 2030 agenda for sustainable development goal 3 – “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines produced this report and made recommendations grounded in actionable steps: help promote research, development, innovation, and increase access to medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices.

Access to drugs through health systems in low, middle-income countries

Sachiko Ozawa et al., Health Policy and Planning, 2019

Nearly 2 billion people globally have no access to essential medicines, because they are unavailable, unaffordable, inaccessible, of low quality. This editorial summarizes scholarly work presented in Health Policy and Planning – volume 34, supplement 3 that demonstrates the implications of poor medicine access and highlights innovations to improve access to essential medicines by presenting new research findings from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The Problem with Substandard and Counterfeit Medicines

WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for Substandard and Falsified Medical Products

2017 Report

The problem with falsified medical products is growing alongside the technological advances of a global supply chain. This WHO report highlights the impact counterfeit medicines can have on individuals, local healthcare systems and the national economy. It describes circumstances in which the illicit trade is perpetrated and how it reaches patients and hospitals. Finally, it addresses what actions are needed to respond to these threats.

Modeling the Economic Impact of Substandard and Falsified Antimalarials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sachiko Ozawa et al., American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2019

The Democratic Republic of the Congo reported 25 million cases of malaria and 46,000 deaths in 2017, about 12 percent of all cases in sub-Saharan Africa. This article illustrates how falsified antimalarials can negatively impact the economy of the Kinshasa province and Katanga region in Congo. Substandard and counterfeit medicines create risks to global health that result in increased deaths, longer treatments, and drug resistance.

Pharmaceutical Industry in Sub-Saharan Africa

Should Sub-Saharan Africa Make its Own Drugs?

Michael Conway et al., McKinsey & Company Report, 2019

Imports comprise 70 to 90 percent of drugs consumed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Governments are considering promoting more local production. This report focuses on small molecule medicines and provides an analysis of the costs and benefits of increasing production. The analysis covers local measures of feasibility, government will, demand, investment attractiveness, implementation capacity, especially with respect to quality of medicines.

Ten Actions to Boost Low & Middle Income Countries’ Productive Capacity For Medicines

James Zahn and Christoph Spennemann, Health Policy Watch, 2020

In the wake of the far-reaching commitments already made by the global community at the World Health Assembly to stimulate R&D and voluntarily pool new intellectual property (IP), James Zhan and Christoph Spennemann are calling upon the United Nation system, governments, industry, and international investors to create a bold new partnership to boost low-and-middle-income countries’ capacity to produce medicines.