‘Essential’ Meds for the World Are Surprisingly Cheap
Thursday, November 10, 2016
The cost of providing essential medicines to people in low- and middle-income countries is surprisingly low, a panel of experts is reporting.
But in most of those poorer countries even that low expenditure on medicines — from $12.90 to $25.40 per person annually — is not being made, according to the expert panel, sponsored by The Lancet and supported by academic institutions and philanthropic groups.
Indeed, low-income countries on average have annual per capita spending on medicines — both public and private — of less than $9 a year, according to The Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines, reporting online in The Lancet.
At the same time, the world as a whole will spend an estimated $1.2 trillion on medicines in 2017 or about eight times the yearly total — from $77.4 to $151.9 billion — needed to bring essential medicines to people in the developing countries, according to Andy Gray, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, who is one of the commission’s co-chairs.
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