(1990; 2 pages)
This article outlines financial barriers to essential drugs and ways to mitigate them. In the 1980s, developing countries experienced a severe economic recession. Nutrition, education and access to health care deteriorated in countries of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. According to the article, the goal of universal access to essential drugs cannot be met if these countries cannot pay their pharmaceutical bills. The article suggests a two-sided approach to solving the financial deficit: to acquire more money and to reduce the cost of the supply of drugs. To accomplish this, the article suggests considering access, supply and financing. When considering access, populations should be categorized based on their ability to access drugs. When considering supply, the supply chain should be analyzed to figure out where the malfunctions are and what causes them. When considering finance, it is necessary to determine how much money is needed, how it will be used and from where it will be provided. It is stated that financing strategies have been tried but data on their effectiveness is incomplete or invalid. This article concludes by emphasizing the need for the collection of sound information on financing strategies for essential drugs.