HEALTH ACTION INTERNATIONAL (HAI)
Last update of this source description: 30 April 2008, current as at 12 October 2011.
”HAI is a non-profit, independent, worldwide network of over 200 members including consumer groups, public interest NGOs, health care providers, academics, media and individuals in more than 70 countries. It works towards a world in which all people, especially the poor and marginalised, are able to exercise their human right to health.” (HAI Website, http://www.haiweb.org
, accessed on 30 April 2008)
HAI works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO). “HAI Europe and the WHO, including other partners are working to make existing drug price information more widely available in order to improve equity in access to essential medicines in health systems and to provide support to Member States in this regard.” HAI Europe and WHO also collaborate in “the issue of drug promotion” (HAI Website, http://www.haiweb.org/01_about_c.htm, accessed on 30 April 2008).
HAI member organisations; WHO; governments (especially ministries of health); consumer groups, public interest NGOs, health care providers, academics, media and general public.
“Globally HAI works
- to promote the essential medicines concept, that fewer than 350 medicines are necessary to treat more than 90% of health problems requiring medicines;
- to increase access to these essential medicines and ensuring that they are available at affordable prices when treatment is needed, especially for the poor;
- for greater transparency in all aspects of decision making around pharmaceuticals, for example, by reducing industry secrecy and control over important clinical data;
- to promote the rational use of medicines: that all medicines marketed should meet real medical needs, have therapeutic advantages, be acceptably safe and offer value for money;
- for better controls on drug promotion and the provision of balanced, independent information for prescribers and consumers.” (HAI Website, http://www.haiweb.org/01_about_a.htm, accessed on 12 June 2008)
The objective of HAI and WHO medicine prices surveys is the reduction of prices and improvement of their availability in developing countries.
HAI “does not accept funding from commercial entities and can only pursue its work with the support of independent funding.” Donor agencies are the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation; Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA); Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS); Dutch Ministry of Health Welfare and Sport (VWS); European Commission, DG Development; Ford Foundation; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF); Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Department for International Development and Cooperation (FINIDA); Oxfam; Rockefeller Foundation; Save the Children Fund; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID); World Health Organization (HAI: List of Donors 2001–2005, http://www.haiweb.org/donors/donors.pdf, accessed on 18 June 2008).
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Thematic focus: Availability, prices and affordability of medicines in the private and public sector.
“In May 2003 HAI and WHO published a working draft of a manual to collect and analyse the prices people pay for a selection of important medicines across sectors and regions in a country, as well as medicine availability, treatment affordability and all price components in the supply chain. Governments, NGOs and others concerned about the prices of medicines are encouraged to undertake a survey using the methodology outlined in the manual. Reliable data is the first step to exploring policy options and taking action to reduce prices and improve availability.” (HAI Website, http://www.haiweb.org/medicineprices, accessed on 30 April 2008)
The reports on availability, prices and affordability of medicines are the result of surveys conducted by the ministry of health of the respective country or a local university (its health faculty or health department) in cooperation with HAI and WHO, using the above mentioned methodology elaborated by HAI and WHO. In some countries monitoring of medicine prices is being conducted on a regular basis (eg quarterly, twice a year). There is always a Survey Manager and a Medicine Prices Monitoring Advisory Group (its members are experts from HAI, WHO, the ministry of health of the respective country, the health department of the local university, a representative of the local pharmaceutical industry and others). Surveys take place at rural as well as urban health facilities in various regions of the monitored country. HAI and WHO also produce reports providing a comparison of prices, availability and affordability of medicines for the treatment of various diseases in different countries (cf reports on availability, prices and affordability of medicines on HAI website, http://www.haiweb.org/medicineprices/surveys.php, accessed on 12 June 2008).
Reports on availability, prices and affordability of medicines are produced regularly in some countries, irregularly in others.
English; some reports are available in French; the HAI Latin America website is (Accion Internacional para la Salud) available in Spanish only.
Navigation of website:
Databases, Survey Results and Reports are accessible on HAI’s website via the top or left-hand menu. There is also a Medicine Price Monitor Archive available for African countries on the HAI Africa website, section HAI Publications – Reports.