This report is a synthesis of the results of the multicountry studies carried out by the WHO Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy Unit (EDM) with the cooperation of the following countries: Australia, Cuba, Cyprus, Estonia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Tunisia, Uganda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. WHO would like to thank the governments of these countries for their cooperation and assistance.
The country studies were conducted by the following national investigators recruited by WHO: Mr George Antoniou (Cyprus), Professor Kamel Boukef (Tunisia), Dr Eibert Rob Heerdink (Netherlands), Dr Susanne Hill (Australia), Dr Charles Maponga (Zimbabwe), Dr Richard Odoi-Adomi (Uganda), Dr Frank Perez Acuna (Venezuela), Dr Julean Perez Pena (Cuba), Professor Dzulkfli Abdul Razak (Malaysia) and Ms Marje Reinans (Sweden).
Dr David Afori-Adjei (Ghana) and Dr Sauwakon Ratanawijitrasin (Thailand) served as advisers, and Mr Eshetu Wondemagegnehu (EDM) coordinated the study.
The guide for collecting data for the multicountry study was developed by Mrs Kari Bremer and Mr Eshetu Wondemagegnehu (EDM) and later refined in a workshop attended by the national investigators, the study advisers, Dr Raffaella Balocco (EDM), Mrs Kari Bremer (EDM) Dr Valerio Reggi (EDM) and Mr Eshetu Wondemagegnehu.
The synthesis paper was prepared by Dr Sauwakon Ratanawijitrasin and Mr Eshetu Wondemagegnehu.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the following people, who reviewed and commented on the draft document: Professor Peter Eagles (South Africa), Dr Dennis Ross-Degnon (USA), Dr Kjell Strandberg (Sweden) and Dr Göran Tomson (Sweden).
Thanks also to Dr Jonathan D. Quick (EDM) and Dr Lembit Rägo (EDM) for their invaluable support, Ms Anne Hemsworth (EDM) for the secretarial support and Mr Peter Thorpe, Ms Jacqueline Sawyer and Dr Lalit Dwivedi for editing the paper.