Today pharmaceuticals have become an indispensable part of health care system around the globe. Historically pharmaceuticals have played a vital role in the human development by improving the quality of life and reducing the time spent in the hospitals. Today, pharmaceutical industry is considered to be one of the largest and rapidly growing global industries. However, despite the extraordinary global achievements in this important industry, it’s a harsh reality that every year millions of people die across the world, mostly in low income developing countries, due to unavailability and inaccessibility of necessary medicines.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on average, 30% of the world population lacks access to life-saving medicines; whereas, in some countries in Asia and Africa, the number may be as high as 50%. Many developing countries, including some OIC member countries, has insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical industry. Local industry covers a tiny fraction of domestic pharmaceutical demand and they rely heavily on imports and medicinal aid. In addition, the share of medicines in “Out-of-pocket” health payments (i.e. paid by the patient) is ranging between 40 to 60% in these countries. Consequently, medicines are neither available nor accessible to a large fraction of population and hundreds and thousands of people die of preventable and treatable diseases. This short report is a humble attempt to investigate the availability of medicines in OIC member countries by focusing on the production, consumption and trade patterns of pharmaceuticals in these countries during the period 2005-2010.
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Pharmaceutical Industry in OIC Member Countries: Production, Consumption and Trade (English)