|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
Tariffs, Corruption, and Other Impediments to Medicinal Access in Developing Countries: Field Evidence
This recently released study of the effect of tariffs and government corruption on drug access for needy patients in Third World nations details the problems with drug delivery in the developing world. The paper's authors call on government and health officials to eliminate drug tariffs in order to open the medicinal market for those in the developing world and to end tariff corruption by Third World governments.
There are many factors which hamper health care delivery in the developing world. These factors include tariffs, taxes, corruption, such as bribes and other local price inflators on medicines and medical products. Nontariff barriers, such as lengthy registration periods for medicines and onerous requirements to clear customs, also restrict the availability of medication in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, approximately onethird of the world's population lacks access to essential medicine and proper medical treatment. Drawing upon extensive evidence from surveys and accounts from the field, this paper examines the impact of tariffs, taxes and other markups on imported medicines and medical products provided to lesser developed countries by pharmaceutical companies, notforprofit groups, forprofit corporations, multilateral and bilateral aid and health agencies. The paper discusses how these regulatory barriers affect access to medication. The authors conclude that although efforts to reform the current system of government revenue generation through tariffs collection may meet resistance in many developing countries, especially those featuring systemic corruption and those with domestic production, governments which take steps to eliminate tariffs could in fact expedite health care delivery and consequently improve the well-being of their people.
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