Burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nepal and the availability and affordability of NCD medicines

Khanal, S., Veerman, L., Nissen, Lisa, & Hollingworth, S. (2014) Burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nepal and the availability and affordability of NCD medicines. In National Medicines Symposium 2014, 21-23 May 2014, Brisbane, Australia.

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Background: Traditionally communicable diseases were the main causes of burden in developing countries like Nepal. In recent years non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mainly cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes mellitus, impose a larger disease burden compared to communicable diseases. Most elements of health and medicine policies in Nepal are still focused on communicable diseases. There is limited evidence about NCDs and NCD medicines in Nepal.

Aim: To explore the gap between the burden of NCDs and the availability and affordability of NCD medicines in Nepal.

Methods: Biomedical databases like Medline, Scopus, Web of Science and other online sources (including Global Burden of Diseases data) were searched for data on the burden of NCDs in term of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). The Essential Medicines List (EML) of Nepal was compared with World Health Organisation (EML) for inclusion of NCD medicines.

Results: In Nepal, NCDs caused nearly 45% of the total 10.5 million DALYs in 2010. CVDs (15.2%), were the leading cause of NCDs burden followed by chronic respiratory diseases (14.7%), cancer (7.3%) and diabetes mellitus (3.2%). One hospital based national survey found that 37% of hospitalised patients had NCDs. Among them, 38% had heart disease followed by COPD (33%) , and diabetes (10%). Most (23 out of 28) non-cancer NCD medicines recommended in WHO-EML were present in Nepal's EML, theoretically indicating good availability. However, it is difficult to say whether they are accessible and affordable due to the lack of adequate data on access and pricing.

Conclusion: This study gives some insight into the burden of NCDs. Although NCD medicines are available in Nepal, further research is required to determine whether they are accessible and affordable to the general population.

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ID Code: 74374
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PHARMACOLOGY AND PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES (111500) > Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (111502)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 24 Jul 2014 02:50
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2014 02:51

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