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- 5 Weeks
- 2–3 hours per week
About this course
The goal of the Medicines in Health Systems course is to strengthen the capacity of practitioners working toward universal health coverage in low- and middle-income country health systems to design, implement, and monitor evidence-informed pharmaceutical policy and management strategies. As you learn the frameworks, concepts, policy options, management tools and monitoring approaches discussed in the course, you will enhance your ability to communicate with different system actors about the roles of medicines and to improve medicines availability, accessibility, affordability, and appropriate use.
The topics covered in this course are relevant for a highly diverse group of participants from various backgrounds, including officials of country ministries and insurance systems; representatives of bilateral and multilateral development organizations including World Bank staff; clinicians and public health leaders; representatives of companies and of civil society organizations; academics, students and future leaders.
Many countries are reforming their health systems working toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). These reforms can be harnessed to increase equity in medicines access, affordability, and appropriate use of medicines. However, they also have the potential to decrease the effectiveness of prescribing and dispensing, increase unnecessary use of medicines, and derail systems from a path toward sustainable universal coverage.To guide health system development with respect to pharmaceuticals, decision makers need to have a conceptual understanding of medicines in health systems; operational staff need detailed, in-depth understanding of key medicines issues and of the policy and management options to address them; system planners and managers need access to data and tools to assess medicines situations and to monitor impacts of changes.
Because different actors in the pharmaceutical sector may have competing objectives, all actors must understand the perspectives of others to work toward effective policies that facilitate achieving the goals of universal coverage: equitable and improved population health, financial risk protection of households, and citizen satisfaction with sustainable health systems.
The goal of the Medicines in Health Systems course is to strengthen the capacity of practitioners working toward universal health coverage in low- and middle-income country health systems to design, implement, and monitor evidence-informed pharmaceutical policy and management strategies.
The target audience for the Medicines in Health Systems course is broad: practitioners working on health system reforms or management, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. This includes:
- Decision makers and operational staff in ministries of health, finance, and labor.
- Decision makers in health insurance and health financing organizations.
- Leaders of civil society organizations focused on different aspects of health systems.
- Leaders of public, private, and mission health care delivery systems.
- Leaders and staff of international development organizations working on health care delivery and health financing and health system reforms.
- Leaders of local and multinational generic and research-based pharmaceutical companies.
- Students enrolled in formal public health, medical, or pharmacy training programs.
After completing the course, participants will be able to:
- Explain the different roles medicines play in health systems, and the roles and responsibilities of different system actors with respect to medicines in systems.
- Illustrate the competing objectives that system stakeholders face when striving toward greater availability of and more equitable access to high quality medicines, at affordable costs for households and the system, and with appropriate use to achieve target health outcomes.
- Assess the potential of different medicines policy and management approaches to balance these competing objectives, and identify the facilitators of and barriers to success of specific strategies, in a given context.
- Lay out strategies for monitoring desired and potential unintended outcomes of specific medicines policy and management strategies in a given setting.