MEZIS "Mein Essen zahl’ ich selbst – Initiative unbestechlicher Ärztinnen und Ärzte"- Nachrichten Nr. 2/6
(2016; 11 pages)


While a lack to life-saving medicines has been a feature in the resource-constrained parts of the world for many decades, the global trend of escalating prices of pharmaceuticals has started to hinder access in rich industrialized countries as well. Monopolies caused by patents on new medicines or where there is only a single producer for an older off-patent neglected medicine, which is now used as a speciality medicine, are the most important reason for high prices and a lack of affordability and access to essential medicines. The costs of producing me-too medicines, which offer a marginal benefit over existing options, at best, also absorbs important research and development (R&D) resources, and potentially diminishes the incentives for real innovations which can benefit patients.

The articles draw a comparison between the Indian, German and South African situation, in order to show the global impact of highly priced medicines. It touches on the extent to which individual physicians and patients are influenced by high priced medicines. The process of developing treatment guidelines, which then guide the allocation of resources, is also open to influence. The articles discuss how these issues can best be tackled through changes in practice and policy on the individual, national and global level. As the global problem affects nearly all countries, the analysis and recommendations can be generalised to most contexts.


  • Editorial
  • Essential medicines and “me-too” medicines
  • The global situation of access to medicines
  • Monopolies increase prices and limit access
  • The German situation
  • The Indian situation
  • The South African situation
  • Conclusion
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