New MSF Report: Under Pressure: Strategies to improve access to antihypertensive medicines in low- and middle-income countries

Dear all,  

MSF has released a report in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives: Under Pressure: Strategies to improve access to antihypertensive medicines in low- and middle-income countries. 

The report has the following major findings:   

  • Generic hypertension medicine prices vary substantially across LMICs, with medicines in some countries costing 40 times more than the estimated cost-based generic price  

  • Despite being recommended as the standard, single-pill combinations (SPCs) are often unavailable or unaffordable to patients  

  • However, in some settings SPCs are already less costly to use than the sum of the price of their equivalent SAPs  

  • At current prices, many LMIC governments cannot offer affordable and safe essential medical treatment to people living with hypertension  

Here are two quotes from MSF in relation to this report: 

  • “It is disheartening that although one in five people in Eswatini has hypertension, accessing treatment has been a major challenge because multiple medicines are needed and stock outs are common, which often means that patients are just switched from one hypertensive medicine to another. Since we started to use single-pill combinations, we have really been able to simplify treatment regimens, reduce the pill burden for patients, improve rates of control and make forecasting and the supply chain more straightforward. Now, we need to find ways of scaling up access to these single-pill combinations.” - Edwin Mabhena, Medical Activity Manager, Shiselweni Project, Eswatini 

  • “In some settings, using single-pill combinations is already less costly than the sum of the individual medicines, and the estimated cost-based generic pricing data suggests that the single-pill combinations are not more expensive to make. With less than 10% of people living with hypertension having their blood pressure controlled in low- and middle-income countries, we need to reimagine and simplify how we deliver hypertension treatment. Access to single-pill hypertension combinations is an important part of making this change.” - Dr Helen Bygrave, Chronic Diseases Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign 

Kindly let me know if you have any questions. 

Thank you, 

Morag McKenzie, Communications Officer, MSF Access Campaign, [email protected], +49 172 525 1319 

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About Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Access Campaign

In 1999, in the wake of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, MSF launched the Access Campaign. Its purpose has been to push for access to, and the development of life-saving and life prolonging medicines, diagnostic tests and vaccines for patients in MSF programmes and beyond.


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