(2005; 7 pages)
Essential drug lists and generic drug policies have been promoted as strategies to improve access to pharmaceuticals and control their rapidly escalating costs. This article reports the results of a preliminary survey conducted in 10 Latin American countries. The study aimed to document the experiences of different countries in defining and implementing generic drug policies, determine the cost of registering different types of pharmaceutical products and the time needed to register them, and uncover the incentives governments have developed to promote the use of multisource drugs. The survey instrument was administered in person in Chile, Ecuador and Peru and by email in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Uruguay. There was a total of 22 respondents. Survey responses indicated that countries use the terms generic and bioequivalence differently. We suggest there is a need to harmonize definitions and technical concepts.