The first African MedIC Course in Pharmaceutical Policy Analysis for Health and Insurance Systems was organized by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with WHO and the Ministry of Health in Ghana, and the WHO Collaborating Center in Pharmaceutical Policy at the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The course brought together 25 participants from governments, health insurance schemes, and international organizations from of six African countries in Accra, Ghana. During the highly interactive 9-day course, participants from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania worked in small cross-country groups to answer questions such as: Why extend coverage for medicines in health insurance programs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of specific medicines policies? What is the best way to design, implement, and manage a formulary? How can routine medicines data be used to develop evidence-based policies? How can insurance programs evaluate changes in medicines coverage? What are the best measures for routine monitoring of medicines policy effects? As country teams, participants developed innovative policy interventions to improve medicines use and health outcomes in their systems, immediately applying the materials discussed during the course to their settings.
The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, with funding from the U.K. Department for International Development and the European Community; the World Health Organization Country Office in Accra; the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana; the Ghana National Health Insurance Authority and the Republic of Ghana Ministry of Health; the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA); the Police’s Medical Aid Scheme of South Africa (POLMED); Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) and Management Sciences for Health (MSH); and the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention (DACP) at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.