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PAHO/WHO’s strategic goal of technical cooperation in this area is to support countries in attaining “Equitable Access to essential medical products and technologies of assured quality, safety and efficacy, cost effectiveness, and on their sound and cost-effective use”.

Caribbean countries known as Small Islands Development States (SIDS) have several commonalities, including high public and private expenditure on medicines and challenges for regulation and enforcement and guaranteeing quality and safety of medicines.  This expose the population to treats like counterfeit or falsified and/or sub-standard medicines among other problems.

In the Caribbean, the overall objective of the technical cooperation is improving availability, affordability and rational use of quality and safe medicines in the Caribbean, in order to contribute for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)  related to health in the Caribbean countries, namely, acute and non-communicable diseases (MDG 8); reduce child mortality (MDG 4), improve women's health (MDG 5) and lower the burden of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases (MDG 6).

The technical cooperation in the area of medicines and health technologies is framed by the Sub-regional Cooperation Strategy (SCS) for the Caribbean: 2010-2015 and the WHO Medicines Strategy: 2008-2013 , in line with the Caribbean mandates, such as the Caribbean Cooperation in Health, phase 3 (CCH III)  and its goal related to health systems responding effectively to the needs of the Caribbean people and the Port of Spain Declaration , that states that by 2012, 80% of people with non communicable diseases (NCDs) would receive quality care and have access to preventative education, based on regional guidelines; taking into account the implementation of the Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The purpose is to support CARICOM Countries and Dominican Republic in improving access to safe and quality medicines and promoting rational use.

The publications Pharmaceutical Situation in the Caribbean Countries, the Regional Assessment of Drug Registration and Regulatory Systems in CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic  and the Assessment of Patent and Related Issues and Access to Medicines in CARICOM and Dominican Republic  contributed for identifying the gaps and were the basis for the development of the Caribbean Pharmaceutical Policy, approved by the CARICOM Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) in April 2011. Technical support has been provided for the development and approval of the CPP.

Currently the priority is to support the implementation of the Caribbean Pharmaceutical Policy and governing mechanisms, with special emphasis on strengthening regulatory capacity in the Caribbean region. Technical support is also  provided with the following specific objectives:

1. develop, implement and monitor National Pharmaceutical Policies, using evidence for decision making;

2. increase equitable access to essential medicines, particularly for priority health problems;

3. ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines through effective drug regulation; and

4. improve rational use of medicines by health professionals and consumers.

From 2004 to 2010, PAHO/WHO technical and financial support in the area of medicines in the Caribbean was developed within the framework of the European Union/ World Health Organization (EU/WHO) Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Island (ACP) “Partnership on Pharmaceutical Policies”  . PAHO/WHO is committed to building on the successes of the EU/WHO ACP Partnership on Pharmaceutical Policies  in which CARICOM countries and Dominican Republic were beneficiaries, and is looking forward to continuing its collaboration to strengthen the pharmaceutical sector in the Caribbean region, aiming to consolidate the results achieved to date, complete the un-finished agenda and address future challenges that have been identified by Caribbean countries.

Sub-regional activities

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 07:07

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