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Transitioning to a national health system in Cyprus: a stakeholder analysis of pharmaceutical policy reform

Wouters, Olivier J. ORCID: 0000-0002-2514-476X and Kanavos, Panos ORCID: 0000-0001-9518-3089 (2015) Transitioning to a national health system in Cyprus: a stakeholder analysis of pharmaceutical policy reform. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 93 (9). pp. 606-613. ISSN 0042-9686

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Identification Number: 10.2471/BLT.14.148742


Objective To review the pharmaceutical sector in Cyprus in terms of the availability and affordability of medicines and to explore pharmaceutical policy options for the national health system finance reform expected to be introduced in 2016. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews in April 2014 with senior representatives from seven key national organizations involved in pharmaceutical care. The captured data were coded and analysed using the predetermined themes of pricing, reimbursement, prescribing, dispensing and cost sharing. We also examined secondary data provided by the Cypriot Ministry of Health; these data included the prices and volumes of prescription medicines in 2013 Findings We identified several key issues, including high medicine prices, underuse of generic medicines and high out-of-pocket drug spending. Most stakeholders recommended the national government review existing pricing policies to ensure medicines within the forthcoming national health system are affordable and available, introduce a national reimbursement system and incentivize the prescribing and dispensing of generic medicines. There were disagreements over how to (i) allocate responsibilities to governmental agencies in the national health system, (ii) reconcile differences in opinion between stakeholders and (iii) raise awareness among patients, physicians and pharmacists about the benefits of greater generic drug use. Conclusion In Cyprus, if the national health system is going to provide universal health coverage in a sustainable fashion, then the national government must address the current issues in the pharmaceutical sector. Importantly, the country will need to increase the market share of generic medicines to contain drug spending.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 WHO © CC BY 3.0 IGO
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 09:09
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 22:09
Funders: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus

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