External Source:
Improving access to MNS medicines | Institute of Medicine

“For low and middle-income countries, improving access to appropriate essential medicines can be a tremendous challenge and a critical barrier to scaling up quality care for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. Reduction of cost and improvement of the supply of effective medicines has the potential to significantly impact the lives of patients with these disorders.”

Building off previous Forums held in Uganda in 2009 and 2012 focused on core competencies for providers specializing in mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a third Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders convening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2014.

The workshop was intended to: “bring in key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for achieving long-term affordable access to medicines for MNS disorders.” Throughout the forum, stakeholders worked to:

  • Identify critical barriers that impact the procurement of essential medicines for MNS disorders
  • Explore challenges and opportunities for improving access to essential medicines in demand, selection, supply chains, and financing / pricing
  • Examine successful activities that increase access to essential medicines in sub-Saharan Africa and in other developing countries
  • Identify critical components of these models that might be features in sub-Saharan Africa programs focused on MNS disorders
  • Consider the role of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private groups in procurement of essential medicines for MNS disorders
  • Examine current funding and payment practices at each level
  • Explore the impact of prescription practices on determining priority setting for acquiring essential medicines
  • Identify the key components of a distribution framework that may serve as a demonstration project focused on increasing access for three essential medicines

Discussions and findings from the Forum are presented in the workshop summary.