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Many countries struggle to provide citizens with affordable access to medicines. Often, this situation stems from a lack of reliable information on—and accountability in the medicines market for—the price, availability, affordability, quality and promotion of medicines.
The Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) is a unique model that can be used by low- and middle-income countries to address transparency and accountability issues. The MeTA model, which was successfully tested in Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia, involves the establishment of in-country MeTA councils—a multi-stakeholder group of representatives from the public, private and civil society sectors. Each in-country council identifies national health policy priorities and collects, shares and analyses data on the selection, procurement, quality, availability, pricing, promotion and use of medicines. They then use this information to inform and improve national medicines policy.
Health Action International is currently using the MeTA model as part of its Health Systems Advocacy Partnership work in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia to improve access to sexual and reproductive health commodities. The model will also be used for our work to improve the prevention and treatment of snakebite envenoming in those countries.