Guyana's pharmaceutical sector faces major challenges that limit access to essential drugs. This study analyzes Guyana's drug policy and regulation, public financing, and drug procurement and delivery. The study also identifies main barriers to drug access and proposes alternatives to strengthen the country's public health functions. Data were collected from the country's regulatory agencies, public procurement agency, pharmacies, wholesalers, and pharmaceutical companies. The information was supplemented with interviews with a convenient sample of Guyanese health authorities and stakeholders. Data were also compiled from scientific databases, and web pages of the country's Ministries of Health, Commerce and Finance, the Bureau of Statistics, and international organizations. Major barriers to drug access include: (1) lack of national drug policy and regulation, and limited role of the regulatory authority; (2) inefficient drug selection and irrational drug use; (3) insufficient financial resources and lack of drug pricing policy; (4) inefficient planning and managing public supply system; (5) deficient epidemiological and information systems; and (6) inadequate infrastructures and human resources shortage. Improving drug access in Guyana requires the strengthening of the country's public health functions and the implementation of a national drug policy and pricing policy, streamlining the drug financing, procurement, and planning and managing drug supply; and adequate infrastructures and human resources.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rosa_rodriguez-monguio/10/