Essential medicines out of reach for most people
Publishers:: WHO and HAI
Publication date: 2008
Number of pages: 22
“….1 December 2008 | WHO GENEVA -- An alarming lack of availability of essential medicines in the public sector drives patients to pay higher prices in the private sector or go without, according to a WHO study reported in today’s online edition of The Lancet. The results confirm that governments must do more to improve access to essential medicines as part of their efforts to make national health systems more efficient and equitable.
The study analysed data from surveys in 36 countries from all WHO geographical regions and World Bank income groups. Results show an average public-sector availability of only 38% across surveys. This forces patients to buy medicines from the private sector where treatments are more expensive and frequently unaffordable. In Africa, for example, the lowest-paid government worker needs to spend two days' salary each month to purchase diabetes treatment using the lowest-priced generic medicine. When the originator brand is used, costs escalate to over eight days' wages….”