(2007; 26 pages)
Many factors hinder availability and affordability to medicines at various levels of health care. Most notable among these is the lack of public sector involvement and over dependence on the private sector in making essential medicines available throughout Maldives. The continued existence of a flawed price control structure (based on the imported landing price and fixed percentage mark-ups) has encouraged import of expensive medicines. Balanced pricing mechanisms that allow for affordability to all segments of the population and also encourages viability of pharmacies are required.
There are many policies and functions which need to be established at national level. These functions include, among others strengthening the following areas:
- Legislation and regulations;
- Regulatory and administrative standards;
- Medicine registration services;
- Inspection and enforcement services;
- Quality assurance services;
- Supply if essential medicines to all levels of health care;
- Medicine and poison information services;
- Monitoring rational use of medicines.
To overcome these challenges a comprehensive National Medicine Policy is needed. Such a policy will provide guidance and impetus to national activities, and lead the way towards quality, safe effective and affordable medicines, available throughout Maldives.