Time to embrace access programmes for medicines: Lessons from the South African flucytosine access programme

by Shroufi A, Govender NP, Meintjes G, Black J, Nel J, Moosa M-YS, Menezes C, Dawood H, Wilson D, Trivino Duran L, Ajose O, Murphy RA, Harrison T, Loyse A, Ruffell C, Van Cutsem G . International Journal of Infectious Diseases 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.02.057

Summary: Flucytosine is recommended by the World Health Organization as part of the treatment for cryptococcal meningitis, but market failure has meant that flucytosine is not accessible in African treatment programmes. The recently established South African flucytosine clinical access programme is an attempt to address this market failure by making the medicine freely available to tertiary hospitals in South Africa. The authors describe why this programme was needed, its catalytic potential, and what is still required to ensure widespread access to flucytosine, and advocate that access programmes for medicines be utilized more widely as part of the solution to addressing market failure.

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