In Focus: Global Special Access Mechanisms
Posted 01 January 2010 | By
There is broad recognition that we are in the midst of a global healthcare crisis. For example, the number of people without access to medicines continues to rise, either because they cannot afford them or because the medicines are not available. While the pundits hammer out proposal after proposal intended to address various aspects of the crisis, the global gap continues to widen for pharmaceutical products including essential drugs, new drugs and yet-to-be-developed drugs. Many pharmaceutical companies provide certain medicines (particularly essential drugs) through drug- and disease-specific donation programs and partnerships. While these initiatives are a good start, they remain inadequate. Creative mechanisms are needed to provide patients with earlier access to medicinal products, which are often needed to save lives. This issue of Regulatory Focus is dedicated to a review of some of the mechanisms to access new medicinal products globally.