Comparative Analysis of National Drug Policies - Second Workshop Geneva, 10-13 June 1996 - EDM Research Series No. 025
(1997; 175 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentExecutive summary
View the documentI. Introduction
Close this folderII. Background on the research project
View the document1. Research questions and objectives of the study
View the document2. Study approach and research tools
View the document3. Project past activities
Open this folder and view contentsIII. Second workshop
Open this folder and view contentsIV. Preliminary findings
Open this folder and view contentsV. Conclusions of the workshop and follow-up plans
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex 1: Research proposal
View the documentAnnex 2: List of participants
View the documentAnnex 3: Agenda
View the documentAnnex 4: Questionnaire on NDP performance assessment
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex 5: Achievements of the national drug policies in the 12 countries
View the documentAnnex 6: Consolidated tables
View the documentOther documents in the DAP Research Series

3. Project past activities

A number of activities took place before this second workshop. They included:

• A preparatory meeting of the project coordinators in Boston in September 1993 where a draft research proposal was discussed. It was agreed to prepare a background paper which would provide the theoretical foundations for the methods to be used in the project.

• The background paper1reviewed the existing literature on the evaluation of social programmes and this review was intended to: provide background information on the project's methodological framework for the comparative evaluation of pharmaceutical policies in developing countries; promote better understanding of key issues related to pharmaceutical policy formulation, implementation and evaluation, and provide materials that could assist in generating research questions for the project. The paper consisted of three main sections: on evaluation methods, on problems in the pharmaceutical sector, and on the formulation and implementation of pharmaceutical policy.

1 Govindaraj, R. Pharmaceuticals and the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of drug policies in developing countries, WHO/DAP, May 1994 (unpublished document). The paper prepared by Dr R. Govindaraj (HSPH) is available on request in WHO/DAP.

• The research protocol was finalized; this document was to be used by each country team to prepare its own country protocol (see Annex 2).

• The background paper and the research protocol were discussed and agreed upon by the three collaborating institutions in a meeting in Stockholm in March 1994. The countries where the project would be implemented were selected, and the formal roles and responsibilities of each coordinating institution with regard to the project in general and to each participating country in particular were agreed upon. The country team leaders were to be identified by the respective collaborating institution and to be agreed to by the Ministry of Health of each country. The eight countries selected for this project were: Colombia, Guinea, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These countries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America were chosen based on the following criteria: socio-economic status, political system and regime type, geographical and demographic factors, colonial history, existence or absence of a formal NDP, public-private mix and size of domestic pharmaceutical industry, availability of in-country contacts, and the existence of previous studies. They include some of the world's poorest countries, as well as some middle-income countries; countries with no pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, as well as some with substantial capacity.

• A first workshop was held in October 1994 in Geneva and was the first step in the implementation of the research and also the first round of group evaluation. Its overall goal was to formally introduce the project to the participating countries, initiate work on the individual country research protocols, strengthen the research capabilities of country teams by providing training in the research methods to be used as part of the project and achieve group consensus on their applications. Research methods were presented and discussed thoroughly, draft country research proposals, and a plan for the future steps were prepared. The workshop was successful in achieving consensus on the methods to be used in all studies, thus enhancing the comparative nature of the research, leaving the country teams freedom to add to or complement these methods2.

2 Report of a workshop on the research on comparative analysis of national drug policies, Geneva, 6-8 October 1994, WHO/DAP (unpublished document). The report of the workshop is available on request in WHO/DAP.

• The research was carried out by the eight countries with ongoing technical support from the three collaborating institutions. Some delays took place due to problems in transfer of funds, change in principal investigator, heavy workload of researchers at country level, etc. All the countries carried out the NDP assessment using standardized indicators; this work involved in each country a large number of people from different sectors and most of the time included national workshops on research methodologies and sampling procedures. Five countries out of the eight implemented the political mapping exercise (Colombia, India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam); in India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the political mapping was undertaken with the direct technical support of the HSPH. A research team from Thailand decided to join the project and was able to carry out most of the NDP assessment and the political mapping. Three additional countries carried out the assessment of NDP using indicators: Bulgaria, Chad and Mali (see Table 1). All country teams prepared draft reports with preliminary findings and most were able to present their findings to policy-makers.

Table 1: Who has done what?


Political mapping








Sri Lanka


Viet Nam




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