(2009; 99 pages)
This report presents the results of transparency assessments carried out in the Syrian Arab Republic. It gives a comprehensive assessment of the level of transparency and the level of vulnerability to corruption within the eight primary functions of the pharmaceutical sector – registration, licensing, inspection, promotion, clinical trials, selection, procurement and distribution of medicines. The results were validated through consultation with a wide range of stakeholders at two national workshops held in Damascus and Aleppo in March 2009.
The methodology provides both qualitative and quantitative information. Two national investigators selected by the Ministry of Health carefully chose 70 key informants from various sectors and backgrounds relating to pharmaceuticals, according to WHO recommendations. They conducted a series of interviews with the key informants and in some cases conducted more than one interview with each key informant due to the fact that many key informants were experienced and well informed in different aspects of pharmaceutical affairs. In fact, managers and personnel are involved in numerous tasks and participate in more than one function of the sector. As a result they possess deep insight and understanding of many functions in the pharmaceutical sector. In total the national assessors conducted 118 interviews.
The information collected was then converted using a rough quantification method into a zero to 10 scale, to provide a score for each function in terms of vulnerability to corruption (minimal to extreme). The scoring indicates vulnerability in terms of the policy, the regulatory and administrative structures and the procedures at the time of the survey.
The quantitative data show that the areas of medicine licensing, procurement and distribution received the highest scores and are marginally vulnerable to corruption; medicines registration, inspection, selection and promotion are moderately vulnerable to corruption; while the clinical trials function had the lowest score and is very vulnerable to corruption.