Knowledge Sharing

Pharmaceuticals and national health systems.

A well-functioning pharmaceutical subsystem is a critical component of the overall health system and is key to the health system’s access, equity, and efficiency. However, consistent access to pharmaceuticals remains a challenge in many national health systems. This article reviews the key characteristics of the pharmaceutical subsystem within the health systems of low- and middle-income countries. It examines different models of pharmaceutical financing, procurement, distribution and provision, and how they impact the technical and allocative efficiency of the overall health system.

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