JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prices, availability and affordability of essential medicines in rural areas of Hubei Province, China

Hao Yang, Hassan H Dib, Minmin Zhu, Gang Qi, Xinping Zhang
Health Policy and Planning 2010, 25 (3): 219-29
19955093

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the availability of essential medicines and their prices in Hubei province.

METHODS: The survey assessed the prices and availability of essential medicines using the World Health Organization and Health Action International methodology. Data were collected from 18 public hospitals and 18 private pharmacies. At each facility the availability and prices of 39 innovator brand medicines and lowest-price generic equivalent medicines were collected. Medicine prices were compared with international reference prices to obtain a median price ratio (MPR). Daily incomes of low and average levels were used to assess the affordability of the medicines.

FINDINGS: Median availability in the public and private sectors was low (38.9% and 44.4% for lowest-price generics, respectively). The median MPRs of procurement prices for innovator brands and lowest-price generics in the public sector were 9.78 and 0.74 times the international reference prices; and the median MPRs of retail prices to patients for lowest-price generics in the public sector (1.04) were higher than those in the private sector (0.68). For most of the population, the medicine prices are affordable, but for those of low income they are not.

CONCLUSIONS: The survey revealed low procurement prices but poor availability in the public sector. Various policy adjustments could increase the availability of essential medicines and reduce their prices for the low income population.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19955093
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"