A new report argues that cheaper
medicines are vital for quality healthcare
Countries like Nigeria, Ghana,
Ethiopia and Kenya could be paying up to 30 times more than the recommended
price for medicines
US-based Center for Global
Development (CDG) says that lower to middle-income countries are losing out
when purchasing what it calls branded generic drugs.
Report author Amanda Glassman told
BBC Newsday that one of the problems is that many countries are buying these
branded drugs when it would be cheaper to acquire what she described as
“unbranded quality-assured drugs” – guaranteed medicines which do not
have a internationally recognised drug company name associated with them.
She also said that many countries do
not have a coordinated drugs purchasing policy meaning that they are unable to
negotiate a lower price.
The kinds of medicines affected
range from basic pain killers, to statins to treat blood pressure and herceptin
for breast cancer treatment.
The CDG says affordable drugs are
necessary and in their absence “lasting health gains will remain