NCDMedicines 0122Health authorities from 16 Caribbean countries, and representatives from PAHO's programs of NCDs and of medicines and technologies, gathered on 22-23 February 2017 to discuss the barriers and solutions to improve quality, availability and equitable access to NCD medicines in the Caribbean. The aim was to support Caribbean countries to achieve the global and regional targets established for NCD management,which is an 80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major NCDs in both public and private facilities.

The common barriers identified were related to the organization of health systems and services, and drug regulatory issues, cost and financial barriers and logistical issues that affect availability of NCD medicines at the place and time when patients most need access. Limitations in health human resources in the area of NCD management and drug policy and pharmaceutical services were also noted as obstacles.

The PAHO Strategic Fund was presented as an excellent opportunity for pooled procurement of essential medicines, as well as technical cooperation to countries to strengthen supply management systems, improve demand planning, promote rational use, and minimize product shortages. During the meeting, it was proposed to consolidate the demand for cancer drugs for pooled procurement from the PAHO Strategic Fund, to procure large quantities of quality assured products at lower prices for Member States.

NCDMedicines groupPAHO and representatives from Member States also agreed to work together to promote standardized NCD guidelines, prioritize hypertension and diabetes control and improve drug management.

Download the meeting report for more information: pdf Increasing Access to NCD Medicines in the Caribbean.

Meeting documents