The Essential Medicines List for Children (EMLc) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist member countries to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The Government of Mongolia has adopted a National Essential Drug List (NEDL) with the seventh update published in 2014. The objective of this study was to determine the accessibility, availability and costs of essential pediatric medicines in Mongolia.
A standardized methodology developed by the WHO and Health Action International (HAI) was employed to conduct a study on the availability, costs and affordability of pediatric medicines in Mongolia. A data collection tool collected information in regards to retail and wholesale availability and costs of essential pediatric medicines at pharmacy outlets during January and August of 2016.
Availability of individual essential pediatric medicines varied across the country. The average availability of medicines was 72.6% in the public sector (9.1–100%). Correspondingly, average availability of all selected medicines in the private sector was 76.7% (26.7–100%). Lowest price medicines were 2.45 times higher than the international reference price (IRP) in the private sector and was 1.95 times higher in the public sector. The lowest cost medicines in the public sector were more affordable for all conditions. The least affordable treatment was estimated to be for respiratory tract infections, or otitis media using amoxicillin clavulanic acid, suspension costing up to 1.03 days wages.
Procurement, supply and distribution of essential pediatric medicines needs to be regularly investigated in order to identify the availability and costs of pediatric formulations in Mongolia.