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Original Research

Cross-sectional study on availability and affordability of some essential child-specific medicines in Uttar Pradesh

Neelkanth M Pujari, Anupam Kr Sachan, Yatindra Kumar.


Background: Uttar Pradesh ranks fourth highly populous state of India and having about 14.9% population of age ≤5 years. The state records very high mortality of children. Continuous availability of affordable medicines in appropriate formulations is essential to reduce morbidity and mortality in children.

Objective: The study aims at documenting the availability and affordability for purchasing essential child-specific medicines in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Materials and Methods: The survey of ten essential medicines was conducted in six randomly selected districts of Uttar Pradesh. Data were collected from medicine outlets of the public, private, and other sector (Nongovernmental Organization [NGO]/mission sectors) of all six randomly selected districts, using survey questionnaire.

Results: Both public sector and NGO/mission sector health facilities procure only one brand of medicines, mean percentage availability of medicines being 17% and 21.8%, respectively. In the private sector, the mean percentage availability of the high- and low-priced medicines for a particular drug product was 10.8% and 38.5%, respectively. ORS (for 1L) and paracetamol suspension (antipyretic-analgesic group) was widely available with more than 90%, nearly more or less in all three sectors. Availability of antibiotics was consistently less in most of the outlets except cotrimoxazole suspension (81.9%) in public sector and amoxicillin + clavulanic acid dry syrup (53.7%), azithromycin syrup (68.3%) in public sector.

Conclusion: The availability of children's medicines in public sector facilities of Uttar Pradesh state is poor. Medicines for children cost relatively high in private sector. The availability of medicines should be improved on an urgent basis to improve access to medicines for children.

Key words: Children, availability, affordability, essential medicines

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