Identifying Indicators for Tracking Pharmaceutical Expenditure in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

SIAPS endeavored to help low- and middle-income countries track Pharmaceutical expenditures (PE) systematically to inform decisions related to the mobilization and allocation of domestic resources and to formulate necessary pharmaceutical finance policies as a key strategy for achieving UHC. Working with its partner, Results for Development (R4D), in 2014, SIAPS reviewed existing approaches that track health and/or PEs. One of the key recommendations from that review was to explore the feasibility of adopting the System of Health Accounts (SHA) methodology to capture PEs. This paper presents the SHA/NHA methodology as a potential platform for capturing PEs and discusses some of the challenges encountered in collecting such expenditure data. It identifies key policy questions that underpin the need for LMICs to comprehensively monitor PEs and discusses a set of proposed indicators they would need to formulate and monitor effective financing policies, particularly toward achieving UHC. It also provides information that enables LMICs and their development partners to realize the challenges in applying the SHA methodology to PE tracking and/or to data collection so that they can take them into consideration during the next phase of piloting these indicators.

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