Pharmaceutical Innovation, Access & Use
Policies for treating particular illnesses with appropriate drugs do not immediately translate into improved access to those drugs for affected populations. There may be a disincentive to create new medicines for certain diseases because a ‘market’ is lacking. There may be trade and intellectual property barriers to access. Distribution channels may lag behind policy protocol so that medications are understocked at pharmacies—particularly in remote regions—or are too expensive for the people for whom they are intended. Corruption in the pharmaceutical sector and counterfeit medicines may hamper efforts to provide quality-assured medicines. In addition, people may be reluctant to take various drugs for a variety of reasons, including economic constraints, cultural taboos, and lack of information. Finally, sometimes available drugs are taken when they shouldn’t be because of lack of understanding about the conditions for which they are appropriate. The CGHD’s research aims to improve understanding of these gaps between policy and practice and recommend actions to address them. CGHD researchers also participate in the BU School of Public Health’s Pharmaceutical Assessment, Management and Policy (PAMP) program as well as the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Pharmaceutical Policy (WHOCCPP).