Victoria Rutter, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association and Dr Catherine Duggan, CEO of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, together assert that Commonwealth countries must advance the capacity and capability of the pharmaceutical workforce to ensure the safe and effective supply and use of medicines, that is essential to achieve universal health coverage.
“Top on the list of challenges preventing the achievement of universal health coverage among Commonwealth member states are issues of medicines access, safety and quality.”
Medicines are the most common healthcare intervention and account for expenditure in a health system second only to human resources. The ‘double burden of disease’ facing low-and middle-income countries in the Commonwealth – an increasing burden of long-term conditions on top of the ongoing burden from infectious diseases – means that medicines-related problems are particularly pertinent. While there is a need to increase investment in all disciplines and areas of healthcare, the shortfall in the pharmaceutical workforce is arguably one that requires urgent attention.
Top on the list of challenges preventing the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) among Commonwealth member states are issues of medicines access, safety and quality. These may include falsified or substandard medicines, and suboptimal use of available medicines.
Pharmacists are well-placed – both as medicines experts and because of their situation within communities – to address medicines-related issues and so improve health outcomes…
Victoria Rutter and Dr Catherine Duggan
Executive Director, CPA and CEO, International Pharmaceutical Federation