[Mechanism and implication of regulation of the pricing of essential medicines in the private pharmaceutical sector in Mali]

D Maïga, S Maïga, M D Maïga
Médecine Tropicale: Revue du Corps de Santé Colonial 2010, 70 (2): 184-8
The healthcare and pharmaceutical professions in Mali were privatized in 1985. Privatization led to swift expansion of the private sector and upset the balance that had existed between the public and private sectors. A national pharmaceutical policy did not emerge until a decade later. Its purpose was to promote a system ensuring fair access to essential generic medicines for all. It was hoped that synergy between the two sectors would promote that objective. However, the policy calling for distribution of essential generic medicine through the private sector was not accompanied by an adequate system for pricing. This problem led the government to adopt a price regulation policy to realign market dynamics with public health goals. This experience shows that a sustained effort from public policy makers is necessary to prevail against the professional and business interests that can conflict with the public interest. Analysis of this experience also demonstrates the need to improve, restructure, and control the pharmaceutical industry. The government must continue to play its crucial role in the context of limited resources and inequality between consumers and pharmaceutical companies.

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