Access to Medicines Policy Research

Background on Access to Medicines Programme

Participants, ATM priority setting workshop, Bangkok, Thailand, March 2012

In May 2010, the Alliance launched a new programme on Access to Medicines Policy Research. The goal of this project is to increase access to, and improve the use of, medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The specific purpose of the project is to build an evidence-informed policy-making culture around the access to, and use of, medicines.

The approach to this policy research work will link the area of essential medicines and pharmaceuticals to the other building blocks of the health system and will build on the Alliance's expertise in the area of health systems research.

The first year focused on setting a priority policy research agenda in the field of access to medicines, through a consultative approach based in countries and regions. The priority setting exercise was completed in 2012, originally commissioned in 17 countries across 5 regions and complemented by interviews with global stakeholders. The final steps of this exercise entailed the formulation of research questions that will bridge the evidence gap and address the policy concerns on ATM identified in LMICs. Results were presented to international experts in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2012. The top three priority research questions out of the 18 research questions identified are listed below:

  • In risk protection schemes, which innovations and policies improve equitable access to, and appropriate use of, quality medicines, sustainability, and financial impact on beneficiaries?
  • How do policies and other interventions into private markets impact on access to and appropriate use of quality medicines?
  • How can stakeholders use information and data routinely collected and available in the system in a transparent way towards improving access to and use of quality medicines?

In May 2012, the Alliance issued a call for proposal for HPSR in the field of ATM. More information is provided on the Call on page 4.

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