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January 27, 2009

From: April Harding

Global Health Policy:
Beyond Prices, Patents and Logistics: A Deeper Look at the Challenges of Expanding Access to Life-Saving Medicines and Technologies in Developing Countries
Posted by April Harding at 02:25 PM

Child health advocates point out that after more than 20 years, oral rehydration therapy use, which is cheap and could save millions of children, has plateaued at 38% coverage. See Bryce et al 2008 Lancet. Others draw attention to the “product pile up” – referring to the significant resources invested to develop products which could save lives and contain costs, like malaria Rapid Diagnostic Kits. But they don’t get adopted by the providers.

Almost everyone agrees this inability to get these great products used is the very weak link in many well-funded global health programs (bednets anyone?). Many advocates focus on prices, and sometimes patents, as if these were the main barriers to use, and improved health. Most health systems analysts know the problem is way more complicated than that. Unfortunately there is all too little policy-relevant research done in this area. Happily, Laura Frost and Michael Reich have contributed to filling this gap in their just-out book “Access”. Note: the book can be downloaded for free.

Click here to view the complete review by April Harding

Visit the blog: http://blogs.cgdev.org/globalhealth/2009/01/beyond_prices_patent.php


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Access: How Do Good Health Technologies Get to Poor People in Poor Countries? by Laura J. Frost and Michael R. Reich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License