Papua New Guinea Still Going Strong. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 006 (1988)
(1988; 1 page)


Since introducing a new pharmaceutical supply system in 1950, Papua New Guinea has succeeded in developing, maintaining, and financing its pharmaceutical supply. This system made Papua New Guinea a pioneer for selection and use of a limited number of essential drugs to meet the needs of the population. During the summer of 1986, the Department of Health in Papua New Guinea allowed the WHO Action Programme on Essential Drugs to assess its long-running system. The Action Programme found the use of standard treatment schedules and their incorporation into the health care system impressive. The Programme’s report also outlined the country’s distribution of responsibilities; the central level monitors the national Pharmaceutical Services while the provincial level is responsible for health services such as hospitals and health centres. The Programme noted that there were some problems with the system such as an excess of old stocks, a lack of information on available stocks at peripheral health facilities, no integration between the central and provincial levels, and irrational drug use. The Programme also found that there were no national pharmacists which resulted in a dependence on expatriate pharmacists. Despite these problems, the Programme believes there is a favorable climate for growth in Papua New Guinea. The overall conclusion of the Action Programme was that Papua New Guinea’s system is generally strong, but its management procedures and dialogue in decision making should be improved. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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