This year Syria will need more than US$ 450 million to provide essential and life-saving medicines and medical supplies to 9.3 million people in both in government- and opposition-controlled areas
At the meeting convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Damascus last week, national and international experts updated the essential medicines list. Beside supplies for treatment of conflict-related injuries, the list includes life-saving medicines and medical supplies needed for diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, reproductive health, as well as critical hospital equipment.
With local production of medicines having decreased by approximately 70% since March 2011, together with the dramatic devaluation of the Syrian Pound, the price of medicines has increased by 25%–50%.
This reduces ability of the population, especially the most vulnerable, to pay for health services: the same patients who were able to cover their medical fees in 2010 are today becoming progressively dependent on subsidized services, including medicines.
The essential medicines list is based on the actual needs for 2014 taking into consideration the stocks already available in the country and planned WHO supplies. Funding requirement is based on international prices and best procurement practices.
The first essential medicines list for the Syrian Arab Republic was launched in February 2013 quantifying the needs in terms of products and funding support. It served as a planning and resource mobilization tool to enhance access by the most vulnerable across Syria to life-saving treatment both for chronic diseases and emergency interventions.
This time, medicines to treat leishmaniasis, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria have also been included in the list.
Essential medicines lists