Moving toward improved access to medicines and health technologies for cardiovascular disease*

Giron et al.

The objectives of this article are to describe the interventions carried out by the Strategic Fund of the Pan American Health Organization to facilitate access to and availability of antihypertensive medicines and devices for measuring blood pressure across the Region of the Americas as part of the HEARTS initiative, and to present the preliminary results of price analyses of antihypertensive medicines.
The study methodology included a review of reports made by the Strategic Fund between 2019 and 2020, an evaluation of modalities of procurement, a review of the public procurement databases for five antihypertensive medicines, and a comparison with the price obtained by the Strategic Fund. Differences in price ranging from 20% to 99% were identified, indicating significant opportunities for savings. The study also presents interprogrammatic actions that can support the HEARTS initiative, such as the inclusion of antihypertensive medicines recommended by the World Health Organization, consolidation of regional demand and competitively-priced long-term agreements to manage the procurement of quality generic products, and the definition of technical specifications and regulatory requirements to support the procurement of devices to measure blood pressure. This mechanism will enable Member States to reduce their costs significantly while extending treatment and diagnostic coverage to more people.

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