Assessing Households Medicines Situations

Measuring Medicines Situations in Households  

Since 2003, DPM faculty members have provided technical support to the World Health Organization to develop and test a household survey measuring access to and use of medicines at the community level. Administered in geographic areas surrounding health care facilities, the household survey collects data on health-seeking behaviors, as well as the availability, sources, cost, affordability, and use of medicines. Jointly-conducted health facility and household surveys help identify economic and geographic disparities and socio-cultural barriers in accessing medicines, as well as consumers’ information gaps. The methodology has been tested in several middle- and low-income countries and was adopted by the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) to evaluate the baseline pharmaceutical sector situation in pilot countries.

In addition, DPM faculty members have led work supported by the World Health Organization and the UK Department for International Development using data from the 2002-2003 WHO World Health Survey conducted in 70 low and middle-income countries.  Their analyses have examined assess to care and medicines for acute and chronic illness, affordability, financial risk protection, and gender equity.  DPM faculty members also continue collaborations with international colleagues and research fellows to evaluate household patterns of medicines utilization.

Drs. Dennis Ross-Degnan and Catherine Vialle-Valentin have collaborated with WHO and MeTA colleagues to develop a standardized household survey methodology which includes sample design, questionnaires, procedures for collecting data during field visits to households, data entry templates, and reporting of results in a document populated with graphs and tables that are automatically generated by an electronic workbook created to facilitate data analysis. Dr. Anita Wagner has led work using the World Health Survey to evaluate access to care, affordability, and gender equity.


Related Publications

Related Resources

WHO household survey manual

MeTA household survey tools

Related Links

WHO Country Profiles to monitor the pharmaceutical situation in countries

Medicines Transparency Alliance

WHO World Health Survey

ICIUM 2011 Theme Summary #7

ICIUM 2011 Theme Summary #21

Principal Investigator: Dennis Ross-Degnan

Funders have included European Community, UK Department for International Development (DFID), World Health Organization, and Pan-American Health Organization.