The research has also allowed an important process of capacity building. Although this process has not yet been quantified, all the country teams agreed that the research had a number of outputs:
(a) Pharmaceutical sector benefits
The results of the research have increased knowledge on key aspects of NDP and on successful strategies/policies. This provides an impetus for countries and for international agencies to reconsider their own policies in the pharmaceutical sector. In addition, the research will be useful in better targeting future research in the field of national drug policies, as it will assist in identifying the main issues which need to be addressed.
(b) Benefits for future research
Conducting the research strengthened skills and research capacity not only of the principal investigators but of a large number of people at national level who were involved in collection and analysis of data. It also enhanced the ability of the researchers to utilize better existing research as the project was an exercise where all the participants learnt and benefitted from research conducted in other countries. This experienced group of people should play a critical role in the future in their own countries.
(c) Political benefits
The research improved the information base at national and global level and provided evidence to influence policy-makers (Bulgaria, the Philippines) or to delay some decisions (Sri Lanka). At the same time, it revealed the lack of monitoring and the need to get good data for policy-making.
(d) Practical tools for policy analysis
The research project also demonstrated that the two research tools, the indicators and the political mapping, could be applied in diverse national contexts, for relatively low financial expenditures, and could generate useful information for policy-makers. The project indicated that these tools deserved broader adoption by policy-makers concerned with national drug policy.