Aims: To provide a cross-country analysis of selection, availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines for mental health conditions, aiming to identify areas for improvement. Methods: We used the World Health Organization (WHO) online repository of national essential medicines lists (EMLs) to extract information on the inclusion of essential psychotropic medicines within each country's EML. Data on psychotropic medicine availability, price and affordability were obtained from the Health Action International global database. Additional information on country availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines for mental disorders was identified by searching, up to January 2021, PubMed/Medline, CINAHIL, Scopus and the WHO Regional Databases. We summarised and compared the indicators across lowest-price generic and originator brand medicines in the public and private sectors, and by country income groups. Results: A total of 112 national EMLs were analysed, and data on psychotropic medicine availability, price and affordability were obtained from 87 surveys. While some WHO essential psychotropic medicines, such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, amitriptyline, carbamazepine and diazepam, were selected by most national lists, irrespective of the country income level, other essential medicines, such as risperidone or clozapine, were included by most national lists in high-income countries, but only by a minority of lists in low-income countries. Up to 40% of low-income countries did not include medicines that have been in the WHO list for decades, such as long-acting fluphenazine, lithium carbonate and clomipramine. The availability of generic and originator psychotropic medicines in the public sector was below 50% for all medicines, with low-income countries showing rates lower than the overall average. Analysis of price data revealed that procurement prices were lower than patient prices in the public sector, and medicines in the private sector were associated with the highest prices. In low-income countries, the average patient price for amitriptyline and fluoxetine was three times the international unit reference price, while the average patient price for diazepam was ten times the international unit reference price. Affordability was higher in the public than the private sector, and in high-income than low-income countries. Conclusion: Access to medicines for mental health conditions is an ongoing challenge for health systems worldwide, and no countries can claim to be fully aligned with the general principle of providing full access to essential psychotropic medicines. Low availability and high costs are major barriers to the use of and adherence to essential psychotropic medicines, particularly in low-and middle-income countries.

Mapping the selection, availability, price and affordability of essential medicines for mental health conditions at a global level

Todesco, B
;
Ostuzzi, G;Barbui, C
2022-01-01

Abstract

Aims: To provide a cross-country analysis of selection, availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines for mental health conditions, aiming to identify areas for improvement. Methods: We used the World Health Organization (WHO) online repository of national essential medicines lists (EMLs) to extract information on the inclusion of essential psychotropic medicines within each country's EML. Data on psychotropic medicine availability, price and affordability were obtained from the Health Action International global database. Additional information on country availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines for mental disorders was identified by searching, up to January 2021, PubMed/Medline, CINAHIL, Scopus and the WHO Regional Databases. We summarised and compared the indicators across lowest-price generic and originator brand medicines in the public and private sectors, and by country income groups. Results: A total of 112 national EMLs were analysed, and data on psychotropic medicine availability, price and affordability were obtained from 87 surveys. While some WHO essential psychotropic medicines, such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, amitriptyline, carbamazepine and diazepam, were selected by most national lists, irrespective of the country income level, other essential medicines, such as risperidone or clozapine, were included by most national lists in high-income countries, but only by a minority of lists in low-income countries. Up to 40% of low-income countries did not include medicines that have been in the WHO list for decades, such as long-acting fluphenazine, lithium carbonate and clomipramine. The availability of generic and originator psychotropic medicines in the public sector was below 50% for all medicines, with low-income countries showing rates lower than the overall average. Analysis of price data revealed that procurement prices were lower than patient prices in the public sector, and medicines in the private sector were associated with the highest prices. In low-income countries, the average patient price for amitriptyline and fluoxetine was three times the international unit reference price, while the average patient price for diazepam was ten times the international unit reference price. Affordability was higher in the public than the private sector, and in high-income than low-income countries. Conclusion: Access to medicines for mental health conditions is an ongoing challenge for health systems worldwide, and no countries can claim to be fully aligned with the general principle of providing full access to essential psychotropic medicines. Low availability and high costs are major barriers to the use of and adherence to essential psychotropic medicines, particularly in low-and middle-income countries.
mental health
affordability
availability
essential medicines
prices
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1062260
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