Pharmaceutical Policy of the Andean Sub-Region. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 016 (1993)
(1993; 3 pages)


Since the Cartagena Agreement (1973-75), Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela have taken steps toward creating consistent, comprehensive, and long-term pharmaceutical policies to govern the Andean sub-region of South America. Because these nations face common problems such as limited drug supply and high procurement costs, they have come together to coordinate policies. First, these nations aim to promote the use of essential medicines for promoting public health. Second, they intend to promote generic drugs as the best commercial option. To achieve these goals, these nations need cooperation not only from each other but also from their respective social, economic, and health sectors. These nations agree it is the responsibility of the state to guarantee availability and equal access to affordable, good-quality drugs for all citizens and to ensure the proper use of these drugs. For these states to fulfill their responsibilities, certain steps must be taken, such as economic liberalization and harmonization of national drug lists. It is also essential for these countries to establish a Common Andean Register for pharmaceuticals, an Andean Review Board on pharmacological standards, and education programs on rational drug use. Steps toward necessary cooperation have already been taken. For example, all five nations have agreed on the joint implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the pharmaceutical industry and share the belief that the most effective control for the drug market should be the market itself. They also understand that development in the pharmaceutical arena must come not only from industry but also through academic research. These nations recognize that the full integration of economic and health sectors throughout the Andean sub-region is necessary to facilitate a common, functional pharmaceutical policy. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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