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[e-drug] SA Health Review 1999
- From: Candy Day <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 10:42:17 -0500 (EST)
E-drug: SA Health Review 1999
Please see the information below about the drug policy chapter in the
South African Health Review that has just been launched. The full text
of the Review is available from www.hst.org.za/sahr
HealthLink, http://www.healthlink.org.za a program of
Health Systems Trust http://www.hst.org.za
------- Forwarded message follows -------
The SA Health Review 1999 was launched in Cape Town on 9
February. As always, the Review includes a chapter on Drug Policy.
This year's chapter, which I co-authored with Fatima Suleman from
Health Systems Trust, is headed "Drug Policy - from macro
development to health district implementation". The chapter can be
viewed at:http://www.hst.org.za/sahr/99/chap13.htm The Review is
also available from the HST website in .pdf format.
The chapter takes each of the major NDP headings, and looks at
developments since the launch of the policy, then at evidence of
district-level implementation (where appropriate). Vignettes from
various districts are provided. The areas covered are:
* legislation and regulations
* drug pricing
* drug selection
* procurement and distribution
* rational use of drugs
* research and development
* technical co-operation
* traditional medicines
* monitoring and evaluation.
A very brief overview of NDP implementation in all 9 provinces is then
The final statement is:
"The greatest question at this time would seem to be: will the new
Minister of Health pay as much attention to this arena of policy as did
her predecessor? And will she be able to untangle the legal web,
which has so hamstrung implementation of the National Drug Policy?
The Harvard policy analyst Michael Reich has written that "at certain
definable, and perhaps predictable political moments, major policy
reform in the health sector is possible". The National Drug Policy
took advantage of the post-1994 political will and acceptance of
change, but stumbled along the path. Perhaps the post-1999 sobriety
and emphasis on results and action will smooth the path to
implementation. Much rests on the review of the policy."
Accordingly, the review makes the following recommendations:
* There is an urgent need for a review of the National Drug Policy,
and the formulation of a plan that highlights short-term, medium-term,
and long-term goals/objectives. An inclusive review process will do
much to improve the degree of transparency in the development of
* Indicators also need to be defined against which the implementation
and impact of the NDP can be measured, which will provide more
concrete evidence of the achievement of set goals and objectives
No doubt some of the value judgements made will be criticised, some
of the evidence refuted - that is the nature of a Review. If it stimulates
debate on this list, or in other fora, then it will have achieved its
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