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Methods 6: Assessing a Country Pharmaceutical Sector – Tools and Approaches for Generating and Using Information
Process and Lessons from the Philippine Pharmaceutical Sector Scan
College of Medicine, University of the Philippines - Manila, Philippines
Problem statement: In the Philippines, medicines access, use, and regulation remain an important part of the health care system, but consolidated information about and the level of transparency between the parties involved (i.e., the public, drug companies, and government) have not yet been thoroughly investigated. The Pharmaceutical Sector Scan is one of the tools of the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) developed to gauge the extent of available information on medicines access, use, and regulation in the country. The data collated are envisioned to assist the national MeTA stakeholder groups in their efforts to improve transparency in the pharmaceutical sector and to set priorities for future activities.
Objectives: To provide experience with the tool that might be helpful for future use in other countries and highlight difficulties encountered during the process
Design: A standardized, user-friendly data collection tool, and methodology developed by the Harvard Group helped in the systematic collection and analysis of data about medicines access, use, and regulation through literature reviews, existing documents, and interviews with key informants; adapted to local setting and conditions
Setting: National level, with an examination of data from both public and private sectors
Study population: Key informants including heads of government agencies, representatives of the pharmaceutical sector, and other stakeholders involved in medicines access, use, and regulation were interviewed.
Outcome measure(s): Targeted outcome information was tabulated in the 8 different topic categories and referenced accordingly based on the different sources of information. If no information was available even after exhausting all possible sources, it was noted accordingly.
Results: The investigating team, composed of 3 full-time researchers, completed the gathering of data within 1 month. Much of the information collected was widely available on the Internet. The rest was obtained from key informant interviews. Some key information points differed for international and locally derived data, mostly due to the differences in methodologies or definitions. For analysis and validation of results, verification of the collated data from the sources agencies and public presentation through a roundtable discussion with stakeholders were done. Of 270 data fields to be filled, 221 (81.85%) had clear information, 7 (2.59%) were based on estimates from experts, and 9 (3.33%) were not disclosed due to privacy reasons and need to be requested. 31 (11.48%) had no actual data compiled from government agencies, private sectors, or public health studies. The stakeholders of MeTA Philippines have been informed of the results of the scan.
Conclusions: The scan tool is comprehensive and user-friendly for gathering key information and their sources.. An extensive source of data can be obtained, majority complete with details and explanatory notes, but some data were aggregates and at times, multiple sources show conflicting results. Performance of the sector based on indicators of good governance and transparency were described. Gaps in information were identified and some obstacles to a total transparency exist.
Funding source(s): MeTA
Experience and Use of the MeTA Pharmaceutical Sector Scan and Data Disclosure Survey in Ghana
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Ghana
Use of the MeTA Pharmaceutical Sector Scan and Data Disclosure Survey Tools to Conduct a Cross Country Comparison
1Health Economist (HERA), Belgium; 2Independent Consultant
The Process of Developping the Joint WHO GFATM Pharmaceutical Country Profile Tool and Experience of Use
World Health Organization, Switzerland
A Brief Perspective on the Glossary for the Joint WHO-GFATM Pharmaceutical Country Profile
Harvard Medical School, United States of America