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Editor's Note
February 2017

Evaluating and Improving the Cardiovascular Drug Supply for Better Global Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(2):225. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.3880

The World Health Organization and its member states have agreed to the ambitious goal of reducing the risk of premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases, including heart disease and stroke, by 25% by 2025. This voluntary goal includes a national health system response target of “80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major noncommunicable diseases in both public and private facilities.”1 A 2012 United Nations report2 estimated that essential medicines were available in 52% and 68% of public and private pharmacies, respectively, between 2007 and 2011, which demonstrates this availability gap. While this health system response target assumes that the available medicines will contain the active pharmaceutical ingredient at the stated level, data from some studies, such as those focused on malaria,3 suggest that these drugs fail chemical analysis in up to one-third of samples and thus may not achieve disease prevention and control.