Challenges of Local Production of Pharmaceuticals in Improving Access to Medicines

Authored by: David Ofori-Adjei , Paul Lartey

Routledge Handbook of Global Public Health

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415778480
eBook ISBN: 9780203832721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136838330


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Access to medicines (ATM) is sometimes loosely taken to imply the medicines in hand for the use of particular patients. In recent times, ATM approaches have focused on medicines for the treatment of malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV-opportunistic infections and AIDS, with particular attention on low-income countries (LICs), especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Fortunately, there exist some therapeutic options for these three large-scale health problems, and providing patients access to these medicines is important. However, there also exist health problems posing major public health challenges for which effective treatment is neither readily available nor being developed. The diseases in this category include African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Buruli ulcer, and other diseases categorised as ‘neglected diseases’. In this chapter, we will look broadly at the current situation regarding access to medicines and its determinants in the context of the low-income country’s perspective. We will look at the production capacities and share of the pharmaceutical market, using examples mainly from Ghana. Problems faced by local pharmaceutical industries, including the acquisition of active pharmaceutical ingredients, production costs, generic manufacturing, patents/intellectual property, fake and/or substandard medications, competition, and public sector procurement penetration will also be addressed.

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