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Background: One of the elements restricting access to medicines is high medicine prices. This can have a detrimental effect on patients' health as well as the healthcare system in terms of lack of patient compliance with treatment and subsequent hospitalisation for serious complications. The aim of the study is to evaluate the availability and price of antidiabetics and antihypertensives in private and public health centres in Jos and environs.
Method: This study is based on a methodology developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and HealthAction International (HAI), 2004. It uses a short list of medicines to determine the prices of medicines in different health sectors. Data Analysis was done using the SPSS software. The median price ratio for each drug was calculated as well as the percentage availability.
Results: Most antihypertensives and antidiabetics were sold above the international reference price, median price ratio was above 2.5 for all the drugs surveyed. The mean availability of antihypertensives was 85.43% for generic and 1.59% for branded. In public pharmacies, the mean availability of antihypertensives was 79.45% for generic antihypertensives, and 2.37% for branded antihypertensives.
Conclusion: In both public and private pharmacies availability of Branded antihypertensives and antidiabetics were very low compared to their generic counterparts. The poor availability of essential medicines is likely to be multifactorial, further facilitated by cash-flow constraints, inadequate local manufacturing capacities and resulting import dependencies.
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