New research published in PLoS Medicine this week considers the link between mental health systems and access to psychotropic drugs in low to middle income countries.

How health systems factors affect access to psychotropic medicines

In a cross-sectional analysis of WHO-AIMS data published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, Ryan McBain of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA and colleagues investigated the associations between health system components and access to psychotropic drugs in 63 low- and middle- income countries (LAMICs). The authors’ findings indicate that access to psychotropic medicines in LAMICs is related to key components within the mental health systems of these countries but that availability and affordability are affected to different extents by these components.

The authors state: “Results suggest that strengthening specific mental health systems features might be an important way to facilitate access to psychotropic medicines, and results also underscore the differentially greater role of country development in promoting affordability.”

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Funding: No funding bodies had any role in the study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. No direct funding was received for this study. The authors were personally salaried by their institutions during the period of writing (though no specific salary was set aside or given for the writing of this paper).

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: McBain R, Norton DJ, Morris J, Yasamy MT, Betancourt TS (2012) The Role of Health Systems Factors in Facilitating Access to Psychotropic Medicines: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the WHO-AIMS in 63 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. PLoS Med 9(1): e1001166. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001166

CONTACT:
Ryan McBain
Department of Global Health and Population
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts
United States of America
rmcbain@hsph.harvard.edu

Contact: Clare Weaver
Press Release Source: Public Library of Science

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