Variation in the availability and cost of essential medicines for non-communicable diseases in Uganda: A descriptive time series analysis

Mari Armstrong-Hough, Srish Sharma, Sandeep P. Kishore, Ann R. Akiteng, Jeremy I. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Availability of essential medicines for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is poor in lowand middle-income countries. Availability and cost are conventionally assessed using cross-sectional data. However, these characteristics may vary over time. Methods: We carried out a prospective, descriptive analysis of the availability and cost of essential medicines in 23 Ugandan health facilities over a five-week period. We surveyed facility pharmacies in-person up to five times, recording availability and cost of 19 essential medicines for NCDs and four essential medicines for communicable diseases. Results: Availability of medicines varied substantially over time, especially among public facilities. Among private-for-profit facilities, the cost of the same medicine varied from week to week. Private-not-for-profit facilities experienced less dramatic fluctuations in price. Conclusions: We conclude that there is a need for standardized, continuous monitoring to better characterize the availability and cost of essential medicines, understand demand for these medicines, and reduce uncertainty for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0241555
JournalPloS one
Volume15
Issue number12 December
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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