Pharmaceutical policies in health systems
This 3-week course equips participants -including but not limited to pharmacists- with the tools to understand, analyse and propose strategies for strenghtening pharmaceutical systems and their role in universal health coverage.
Deadline: 15 januari 2024
Pharmaceutical public health is an emerging field in global health -and global health needs a generation of policy-makers who understand the relevance of coherent and integrated pharmaceutical systems. Pharmaceutical systems are essential to provide equitable, affordable access to appropriately used essential medical products; they are a foundational element for health systems, a pre-requisite to universal health coverage, and “a powerful means of promoting health equity”. However, they face major challenges in many countries, such as underfunding, lack of adequate resources, fragmentation of tasks, lack of visibility, poor coordination with other components in health systems, etc., and this both at national and local level. How can programmes and (local) health system managers or policymakers identify these challenges? How can they design measures for strengthening the pharmaceutical system within a health system, in a sustainable way? Which goals should be set? Which stakeholders should be involved? How can performance be assessed? The issues at stake require a multidisciplinary approach, and they must be seen against the dynamic interplay of societies, economies and behaviours: until and unless essential medicines, diagnostics and vaccines cease being a commodity and become affordable to all layers of society, universal health coverage will not be achievable.
The aim of this 3-week course is to enable participants to develop a general understanding of the individual components of pharmaceutical systems, and of the whole system they constitute together; and a practical understanding of those specific components on/by which they may have a direct impact, according to their role, responsibility and context. In addition, participants who are specialists in specific fields will be guided to frame their knowledge within a multidisciplinary perspective.
To achieve the multiple levels of understanding, and to enable participants to dialogue with different stakeholders (e.g. health systems researchers, law- and policy-makers, regulators, Ministry of Health, donors, procurement and supply officers, health insurers, front-line workers, patients, communities, etc.), we aim to reduce jargon and to harmonize language.
The short course is targeting students from high-, middle- and low-income countries working at different levels in the Ministry of Health, health programmes, regulatory agencies, NGOs, global health initiatives and other donor agencies, procurement, health insurance, etc.. Importantly, the course is not only targeting pharmacists or specialists in specific pharmaceutical topics. Participants and facilitators will benefit from the rich exchange of experience between professionals bringing the perspective of different expertise, roles and levels in the health systems.
This expert short course is chaired by Dr Raffaella Ravinetto (ITM), supported by Dr Saleh Aljadeeah (ITM), and by Dr Hazel Bradley and Dr Nondumiso Ncube (University of Western Cape, South Africa).
 Bigdeli 2014
 Olliaro et al, doi:10.4269/ajtmh.19-0645
At the end of this course, participants should be able to identify challenges in the pharmaceutical systems, framed within the broader health system; and to propose strategies for strengthening pharmaceutical systems, and for assessing their performance in achieving equitable access to essential health products, at the different levels of intervention: local, district, national, supranational. In particular, the participants will be able to:
- critically assess a pharmaceutical system in terms of equity and UHC
- do a stakeholders analysis of pharmaceutical systems
- understand how interventions in the pharmaceutical sector influence other components in the health system and vice versa
- assess and monitor, from a multidisciplinary approach, pharmaceutical policies and their implementation
- develop context-specific strategies according to one’s role and responsibility