Access to Medicines Policy Research Priority Setting

Identification of Priority Policy Research Questions in the area of Access to and Use of Medicines in Pakistan

To improve the availability and use of evidence on Access to Medicines (ATM) in low- and middle-income countries, the Alliance HPSR is collaborating with institutions in different geographical locations in a comprehensive exercise to identify priority research questions in the field of ATM. This programme of work takes a unique, “health systems” approach, underlining the role of health systems research in understanding, planning, monitoring and evaluating the interaction of health system components to deliver health outcomes efficiently.

The provision of reliable access to affordable, appropriate and high-quality medicines is a key component of a functioning and responsive health system. Access to medicines must be fully integrated with health financing, human resource planning, service delivery, information and governance systems. Access to and appropriate use of medicines is often weak in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with WHO estimating that the average availability of essential drugs is 35% in public sector facilities and 66% in the private sector.

Despite some progress in some areas – such as price and availability – the outright data on access to and use of medicines is often weak. Even where data are available, there is limited contextual evidence and analysis to assist in interpretation or in the development of policy options to improve access to medicines in different health systems and country settings, especially for LMICs.

The identification of policy research priorities in Pakistan will be undertaken by researchers at Aga Khan University. The priority setting exercise aims to identify and rank country-level policy concerns and policy-related research questions in the field of ATM as perceived by policy-makers, researchers, civil society organizations, patients and communities.

The work will produce ranked lists of policy concerns and policy research questions. Country- and region-specific findings will be consolidated with findings from other regions. This, in turn, will inform the Alliance’s future programming, as well as making a sound global contribution to this emerging field.


Project description

Programme: Access to Medicines Policy Research Priority Setting

Research title: Identification of Priority Policy Research Questions in the area of Access to and Use of Medicines in Pakistan

Thematic Research Area: Access to Medicines

Grantee Country: Pakistan

Grantee Institution: Aga Khan University

Program Coordinator/Principle Investigator: Dr Shela Zaidi

Start date: Autumn/Winter 2010

Status of grant: Completed (June 2011)

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