Essential Medicines for Universal Health Coverage. (Essential Medicines for Universal Health Coverage - Comment. The Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines Policies)
(2016; 2 pages)

The Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/essential-medicines

Abstract

Access to medicines has long been a potent flashpoint in global health, from antiretrovirals to drugs that cure hepatitis C. Indeed, as a new Lancet Commission report, Essential Medicines for Universal Health Coverage, asserts, essential medicines should be at the centre of our vision for global health, affecting, as they do, the lives and dignity of people worldwide. Led by Veronika Wirtz, Hans Hogerzeil, and Andy Gray, the Commission identifies lessons learned from 30 years of implementing essential medicines policies. It seeks to align those lessons with the global sustainable development agenda, especially as countries now embark on the path towards universal health coverage. Much progress has been made. Key elements for delivering essential medicines have been adopted by countries—eg, the composition of a limited list to drive procurement and reimbursement, standard treatment guidelines, prescriber training, and regulation of pharmaceuticals marketing. In many countries these interventions have been located within a national medicines policy. However, the quality of their application has varied widely.

 
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