Posted by Maria Codina on January 29, 2018 at 11:10 am
Reproductive health supplies: a question of availability, quality and affordability. Be-cause health Seminar on access to quality medicines and supplies for sexual reproductive health and rights – SRHR, Wednesday 8th Nov., Brussels
Insights and recommendations based on notes from the Seminar and presentations. Presentations and recording of the session are available in a dedicated space on the Be-cause health webpage.
Achieving Universal Health Coverage includes providing access to quality reproductive health supplies to all those in need, and it implies financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
✓ The globalization of pharmaceutical production has not been accompanied by the strengthening and harmonization of the regulatory systems worldwide, and the global market is characterized by a situation of multiple standards, with patients in low- and middle-income countries especially at the risk of receiving poor-quality medicines1. Medical products for Reproductive Health (RH) products are not an exception to this;
✓ The WHO Prequalification Programme, established in 2001, to guide UN agencies and other international organisations with respect to the quality of antiretroviral medicines for supply to low-income countries, now covers a wider range of therapeutic fields, including reproductive health2. Nonetheless, there is need of more pre-qualified products for reproductive health. For instance, to date there are no pre-qualified sources of Benzathine penicillin, despite its key-importance in prevention and treatment of syphilis;
✓ The WHO Survey of the quality of medicines identified by the UN Commission on life saving commodities for women and children, published in 2015, showed that 23% of samples3 failed one or more tests when tested “against pharmacopoeial specifications rather than the manufacturers’ specifications”. The highest proportion of non-compliance found for oxytocin injection (64%), and relatively high failure rates were recorded for gentamicin, ampicillin and dexamethasone phosphate injections. The authors note that “more intensive cooperation and exchange of information among regulators would help to eliminate poor quality medicines. Regulatory cooperation, harmonization of regulatory requirements and procedures can also help to improve regulatory efficiency and incentivize manufacturers to register more UNCoLSC-relevant medicines in the respective countries”. The full report is available here.
The Belgian government incl. DGD, Ministry of Foreign Affairs should
possible prioritization of products for RH in pre-qualification;
reproductive health products;
and/or in providing technology transfer to local manufacturers;
authorities and national procurement centre(s);
by International agencies such as UNFPA, UNICEF, GFATM;
share to tackle a commodity gap;
studies, related substances (impurities), etc.;