Availability, Price, and Affordability of Essential Medicines to Manage Noncommunicable Diseases: A National Survey From Nepal

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Khanal, Saval
Veerman, Lennert
Ewen, Margaret
Nissen, Lisa
Hollingworth, Samantha
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2019
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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the availability, price, and affordability of essential noncommunicable disease (NCD) medicines in Nepal. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Nepal in 2015 using World Health Organization/Health Action International (WHO/HAI) methodology. We collected data on the availability and price of 60 essential NCD medicines from medicine distribution outlets in both the public and private health care sectors in 6 regions. Essential NCD medicines were more available in the private sector (78%) than the public sector (60%). Furosemide tablets were the cheapest (NPR 0.6/10 tablets) and streptokinase injections were the most expensive (NPR 2200/vial) drugs. There was no significant difference (P > .05) in availability and affordability of essential NCD medicines across the 6 survey areas. Treating selected NCD conditions with medicines was generally affordable, with 1 month of treatment costing no more than a day’s wage of the lowest paid unskilled government worker. The lower availability of NCD medicines in the public sector limits the effectiveness of the government’s policy of providing free health services at public facilities. Although NCD medicines were generally affordable, future health policy should aim to ensure improved equitable access to NCD medicines, particularly in public facilities.

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INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing
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© The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License, which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
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Subject
Health services and systems
Public health
Health economics
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Health Policy & Services
access to medicines
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Khanal, S; Veerman, L; Ewen, M; Nissen, L; Hollingworth, S, Availability, Price, and Affordability of Essential Medicines to Manage Noncommunicable Diseases: A National Survey From Nepal, INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing , 2019, 56
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