Increasing Availability Of Essential Medicines Critical To Global Health Security
Project Syndicate: How to Boost Access to Essential Medicines
Justus Haucap, professor of economics at Heinrich-Heine University
“…[L]ow- and middle-income countries … need help improving drug delivery and managing chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, which impose an immense burden on their economies. … Unfortunately, the WHO’s leadership, like much of the West, … has been distracted by an ideological obsession with drug prices. … [P]ublic health analysts have identified a handful of structural reforms that would largely eliminate existing bottlenecks that are hindering the distribution of essential medicines. The first trouble spot is infrastructure. … A second problem, even in areas with adequate infrastructure, is the prevalence of bureaucratic and economic barriers that limit access to essential medicines. … A third problem is that there are too few health care workers. … Flawed — or nonexistent — health-finance schemes are the fourth, and perhaps the largest, barrier to drug delivery in many countries. … Increasing the availability of essential medicines is imperative for improving health care outcomes for hundreds of millions of people around the world. … We can do much to close the global health security gap; but undermining patent protections for new drugs will do precisely the opposite” (11/9).
The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.