(1997; 175 pages)
Pharmaceuticals have made an important contribution to global reductions in mortality and morbidity. Making drugs available to the people and ensuring they are rationally used is, thus, a priority for every country. However, most countries confront a host of problems in their efforts to ensure the availability and rational use of safe and effective drugs. In trying to overcome these problems, many countries, mainly developing ones, have formulated national drug policies (NDPs) that specify national pharmaceutical goals and provide a framework for all parties involved. These policies have often been initiated with the assistance and active support from the Action Programme on Essential Drugs (DAP) of the World Health Organization (WHO), other bilateral and multilateral agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
Although such policies have been implemented by a number of countries, there has been no systematic effort to evaluate these policies on either a within-country or cross national basis. The project on "Comparative Analysis of National Drug Policies" was formulated to fill this lacuna. It was developed jointly by the Action Programme on Essential Drugs (DAP/WHO), the Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of International Health Care Research (IHCAR) at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH, Boston). The research took place in Colombia, Guinea, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe; all these countries were part of the original project. An additional four countries decided to participate in the research using their own funds (Chad and Thailand) or funds provided by the European Union through projects supported by the Centre de Recherche et d'Etudes pour le Développement de la Santé (CREDES), Paris (Bulgaria and Mali). The present workshop, which took place 10-13 June 1996 in Geneva, was the third step in the implementation of this collaborative project. It followed and built up on a series of meetings, workshops, and country work during which the research protocol was developed and the research was carried out by the different countries. The research is supported with funds from SIDA-SAREC and WHO/DAP.
This report constitutes five chapters and a series of annexes containing interalia data collected in the 12 countries. Following the introduction which provides a justification for the need for such research, the second chapter explains the objectives of the research, the main research questions and the methods used in the project. The third chapter describes the aim and objectives of the second workshop with the method of work. The fourth chapter, completed by Annexes 5 and 6, reviews the preliminary results in terms of the methods used and their relevance and outlines lessons learnt in relation to policy development and implementation. Finally, the fifth chapter gives the main conclusions and recommendations of the workshop.