Access to medicines is a critical issue in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where poverty and disease are widespread. High prices, limited availability of medicines for endemic diseases, poor infrastructure, weak regulatory systems, and inadequate insurance coverage are some of the main barriers to access. Building sustainable business models for delivering affordable and quality medicines is essential to address this challenge and move away from the donor-driven model that has prevailed over the past decades.
Access to medicines is based on long standing donation programs in SSA…
Lack of access to medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa is a multidimensional problem, which has contributed to the region’s heavy dependency on donations programs, particularly from pharmaceutical companies and Western countries, raising questions about the sustainability of this model. Moreover, it does not encourage states to structure a more efficient healthcare sector.
…But several promising levers are being activated to build a path for sustainable business models
The SSA region has experience a shift in its healthcare needs in the past few years, particularly with the rise of a middle-class together with the increase of non-communicable diseases alongside endemic communicable diseases.
New opportunities have emerged in recent years to build a sustainable healthcare ecosystem in the region, notably with the promotion of local drug production units, the creation of an African free trade area, and the increase in public-private partnerships, notably with local players. The arrival of new players on the healthcare market, some of them coming from the telecommunication, digital or financial sectors, contributes to the creation of new business models adapted to local realities, and promoting regional entrepreneurship.
Alcimed brings you insights in this position paper on the healthcare issues that affect the region and on recent initiatives that intend to respond to them.
In this position paper, you will explore:
- Where SSA stands in access to medicines
- The multidimensional aspect of the lack of access to medicines in SSA
- What shapes the current dynamics of access to medicines in SSA
- The shift in the SSA healthcare needs
- The opportunities and levers to be activated to improve access to medicines in SSA