(1998; 36 pages) [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
African countries share information on drug prices
ALTHOUGH the availability of essential drugs in Africa has improved during the last decade, it is estimated that one-third to a half of the 700 million people in the region still do not have regular access to the drugs they need. Over 40% of deaths in Africa are due to infectious diseases for which effective medicines exist, but which are not available to those who are ill.
Drug shortages remain chronic in most African countries due to such factors as inadequate national supply systems and weak implementation of national drug policies. Poor knowledge of the international drug market and the lack of effective national quality assurance systems can lead to excessive prices and low quality products. Appropriate and objective information on drug prices and quality standards is therefore essential for drug procurement agencies.
In order to help countries in the region to address these issues, WHO’s Regional Office for Africa, in collaboration with the Action Programme on Essential Drugs, has developed the AFRO Intensified Essential Drugs Programme. The new programme will focus on capacity building, strengthened drug supply systems, including quality assurance, and the rational use of drugs.
One priority activity is the AFRO Essential Drugs Price Indicator. This new publication shares information on current drug procurement prices in Africa with the aim of providing purchasing bodies with a better negotiating position. Data in the first edition are based on the latest regular tender information received from public drug procurement agencies, such as central medical stores, in 16 African countries. The information covers drug designation, package size, unit, price, supplier, currency used and exchange rate in US$. A comparison of prices from international suppliers, compiled by Management Sciences for Health, is also included to provide a global perspective.
Copies of the AFRO Essential Drugs Price Indicator are available, free of charge, from: Essential Drugs Programme, WHO Regional Office for Africa, P.O. Box BE 773, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe, or from Action Programme on Essential Drugs, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
Please clearly credit WHO’s Essential Drugs Monitor as the source, and send us a copy of the reprinted article to the address given on page 1.