The main objective of the study was to analyze the existing patterns of financing, selection, procurement, distribution, prescribing and dispensing of essential medicines in Kerala. The study also documented the regulatory frameworks and policies relating to financing, procurement and distribution of essential medicines.
The baseline assessment was carried out in five districts (namely; Trivandrum, Alappuzha, Ernakulum, Malappuram and Wayanad). The study covered 110 institutions which included 78 public facilities and 32 private facilities. According to the sampling criteria one Medical College, 5 District hospitals/General hospitals, 24 Taluk hospitals/CHC and 48 PHC’s were selected from the public health facilities of Kerala. Private pharmacies, located near the public health facility at each level except the PHC’s were also surveyed to obtain data on drug availability and stock outs. In depth interviews of various stakeholders including State Program Managers of the Department of Health And Family Welfare, Medical Officers, Drug Controllers, procurement officers including NRHM officials and other officials involved in access to medicine were done as part of the study.