After this course the student is able to
Explain which factors and which stakeholders are involved in ensuring timely access to medicines;
- Analyse and understand commonalities and differences in health care systems and pharmaceutical policies across the world;
- List relevant elements of national medicines policies and explain their importance in relation to access to medicines;
- Describe the life cycle of a pharmaceutical and important milestones in relation to access to medicines;
- Understand the full scope of access to medicines in an international setting;
Medicines play a major role in protecting, maintaining and restoring people’s health. Access to medicines is part of the fulfillment of the right to health, but worldwide many patients lack appropriate access to medicines. Continuous provision of appropriate medicines of assured quality, in adequate quantities and at affordable prices is a concern for all national governments.|
The reasons for the failure to achieve universal access and rational use are complex, may differ among countries, and involve a wide range of stakeholders. Thus, there is a general need for medicine policies based on universal principles, but nevertheless adapted to the national situation of a country, to meet the health needs of the inhabitants. A national medicines policy (NMP) helps to identify strategies to meet these objectives, as it provides a comprehensive framework for the development of all components of the national pharmaceutical sector with a future perspective of 10 years to adapt to the changing environment, combined with monitoring and periodic reviews. The final content of an NMP will vary among countries, as it is dependent upon cultural and historical factors, including a country’s institutional capacity to regulate and enforce quality assurance, the political values of the government, the level of spending on pharmaceuticals, and economic development.
During this course students will gain insight in the pharmaceutical sector and health systems across the world and their importance in providing equitable access to medicines. Topics which will be covered include national medicines policies in general and some specific components more particularly, i.e., drug regulation, pricing and reimbursement of medicines, selection and rational use.