Health Desk-19th June, 2019: African countries with small to medium-sized economies pay far more money for less effective drugs, a leading health expert has told BBC Newsday.
In countries such as Zambia, Senegal and Tunisia, everyday drugs like paracetamol can cost up to 30 times more than in the UK and USA.
Drug markets in poorer countries "just don't work", said Kalipso Chalkidou from the Centre for Global Development.
She said "competition is broken" due to a "concentrated supply chain".
Ms Chalkidou, director of global health policy at the organization, co-authored a report on drug procurement that concluded that small to middling economy countries buy a smaller range of medicines, leading to weaker competition, regulation and quality.
It says richer countries, thanks to public money and strong processes for buying drugs, are able to procure cheaper medicines.
However, poorer countries tend to buy the most expensive medicines, rather than cheaper unbranded pharmaceuticals which make up 85% of the market in the UK and US.
The report recommends greater global co-operation and reforming World Health Organization policy as well as policy in targeted countries to improve procurement practices.