Medicines in Health Systems: Advancing Access, Affordability and Appropriate Use
(2014; 117 pages)

Abstract

A systems approach allows us to situate medicines against the full complexity of a health system. This creates a deeper understanding of how interventions in the medicines sector influence the rest of the health system and vice versa. In applying a systems approach, crucial connections become visible: improving access to medicines can promote health equity, and contribute to both stronger health systems and the goals of universal health coverage. Based on case studies of medicines situations across low- and middleincome countries, this report concludes with three core arguments for the medicines agenda:

  • Include access to medicines and their appropriate use as an explicit focus in health system strengthening and efforts towards universal health coverage;
  • Recognize the needs for transparency and governance in the medicines sector within and across health systems, and then strengthen governance capacities;
  • Build more robust connections between information, medicines and decision-making.
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