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Supplies and Logistics

Sources and prices of selected medicines for children


COPENHAGEN, 04 November 2011 - Sources and prices for 'priority medicines for mothers and children'

Sources and Prices publications have a long history as joined initiative between UNICEF Supply Division and WHO, starting with a paperback document in 2002, covering drugs and diagnostics for people living with HIV.

The latest 'Sources and Prices of Selected Medicines for Children' publication was presented in 2010, covering up-to-date information on the availability and price of 240 drug items in 612 different paediatric formulations selected from the ‘WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children’, including therapeutic food, and vitamin and mineral supplements, to treat major childhood illnesses and disease. The information is vital for development and health partners involved in policy and programme planning who procure and supply essential medicines for children.

Priority medicines for mothers and children

The upcoming edition will focus on priority medicines for mothers and children, identified by WHO in 2010.

We encourage both generic and originator manufacturers from around the world to participate and support UNICEF and WHO endeavours in increasing access to quality medicines for children.
Please download and fill the questionnaire for manufacturers  referring to the guidance note . Please send the questionnaire with any relevant attachments by email to Annika Schwenk under aschwenk@unicef.org before Wednesday, 23rd of November 2011.

We thank you for your cooperation.
You are welcome to distribute this information within your network.

Read on for infomation about the second edition 2010

75% of the formulations included in the second editionare available for purchase. For the remaining 25%, sourcing remains a challenge. The guide ranks the availability of the identified medicines.  Sources for children’s medicines and treatments to address opportunistic infections, palliative care, pain and pneumonia had good coverage. Coverage of paediatric formulations for treatments of malaria, maternal and newborn care, and tuberculosis was fair. However, the number of sources is limited for the paediatric treatment of diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS, and remains a serious challenge for child-specific medicines to treat tropical infections endemic in Africa and Asia.

“While effective medicines exist to fight disease and treat life-threatening conditions like malnutrition, formulations suitable for children are often difficult to source,” said Francisco Blanco, Chief of Medicines & Nutrition, UNICEF Supply Division. “The data in this edition confirms that much more research and effort needs to be made to make medicines for children more available and accessible for those who need them most.”

“An estimated 9 million children die each year from preventable and treatable causes. Improved availability and access to safe child-specific medicines is still far from reality for many children in poor countries. This one-of-its-kind publication will be useful for organizations and personnel involved in procurement to identify where medicines may be found and what they cost,” said Hans Hogerzeil, Director Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies at WHO.

Key points from 2010 edition

  • WHO recommends that wherever possible, medicines for children should be provided as flexible, solid, oral dosage forms that can be administered in a liquid when it is given to the sick child. Liquid formulations are more expensive to purchase compared with dispersible tablets and are also more costly to store, package, and transport safely. 
  • Although diseases such as schistosomiasis, filariasis, and parasites transmitted through soil, are endemic in some parts of Africa and Asia, there remain very few manufacturers who produce child-specific medicines to treat these neglected diseases. Broadening the market search for essential medicines in this category is a serious challenge.
  • Newborn care is often lacking in poor countries, particularly in hard to reach communities. At the time of publication, there was no information from manufacturers for respiratory stimulants and pulmonary surfactants for the treatment of apnoea and respiratory distress syndrome in newborns.
  • Sources and Prices of Selected Medicines for Children is part of UNICEF/WHO work to make essential medicines for children more universally available. Since the launch of the campaign “Make Medicines Child Size” in 2007, WHO and UNICEF have been working in partnership to raise awareness and accelerate action to address the serious gaps that contribute to nine million preventable child deaths every year.

Note for manufacturers
UNICEF and WHO invite manufacturers to submit products to be added to the data base. Please refer to the report for minimum criteria for inclusion. Please note: the products and manufacturers in this report are not necessarily prequalified or endorsed by UNICEF and WHO. Contact: supply@unicef.org for more information.

UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/supply/index.html
WHO: http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/Medicinespubarchive/en/index.html

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions.

About WHO
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.  The Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies department's vision is that people everywhere have access to the essential medicines they need; that the medicines are safe, effective and of assured quality; and that they are prescribed and used rationally.

For further information please contact
Joan Howe, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mobile:  +45 29 65 71 94

Liz Finney, Communications Officer, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 791 1866



Related Information

The 2nd edition of S&P is also available at WHO's 'Recent documents and publications' webpage.

Third edition data collection

Guidance note on how to fill the questionnaire

Questionnaire for manufacturers

New enhanced search