Medicines Transparency Alliance - Jordan. Paving the Way to Better Access to Medicines
(2015; 12 pages)

Abstract

Like all countries, Jordan faces the difficult task of delivering fair access to medicines within its financial means. As MeTA began, the government was procuring medicines at well-above international prices. More than one third of the country’s health budget was spent on medicines, a high proportion by international standards. Despite the high government spending, consumers still made significant out-of-pocket payments for medicines as well. Most medicines were bought in the private sector, at above public sector prices. Transparency in the medicines supply chain was weak: the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) had not been required to publish the list of registered pharmaceutical products, and members of committees assessing and deciding on registration of medicines did not have to declare conflicts of interest. The situation demanded a comprehensive package of policy responses to pave the way for improved access to essential medicines.

Jordan launched a MeTA pilot in 2009. Its mission was to contribute to good governance, transparency and accountability across the medicines supply chain by engaging all stakeholders with an interest in the outcome of the medicines market. MeTA was established as a small unit of the JFDA, overseen by a six member advisory board which was chaired by the Minister of Health with representatives from the JFDA, the Transparency Association, the parliamentary health committee, and the World Health Organization. MeTA has been methodical in its work. It has collected evidence with technical support from WHO and identified its priorities. It has set up a strong multi-stakeholder structure which has been critical to its successes. All participants have committed to improving transparency and access to medicine, recognizing and respecting their different interests and identifying areas of common interest. For the first time in Jordan, patients and representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) are part of the formal policy-making dialogue. Their views now have more weight, enabling dialogue with representatives from professional associations, the private sector and government. The involvement of all sectors has meant that MeTA’s recommendations have been well-received and that there is a commitment to ensure they are implemented and enforced.

Jordan is one of seven countries to participate in MeTA. The programme is also active in Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia. It is currently funded by the UK Government through the Department for International Development.

 
The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: October 29, 2018