Availability and affordability of antiglaucoma drugs in Benin city, Nigeria.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. Affordability and availability are key factors that determine access to effective treatment. The aim of this study is to investigate the availability and affordability of antiglaucoma medicines in Benin City. A cross sectional survey of the major drug distribution sectors was conducted. The strength, unit pack, brand name and lowest priced generics (LPG) were recorded. Physical sighting of product was done to confirm availability in any facility. Data collected were sorted and analyzed using WakAfford1.0. (A Medicine Affordability Calculator) that we developed for this study, based on USD103 (NGN17, 000) minimum wage per month for the least paid government worker. Graph pad Instat was used for inferential analysis. The branded or innovator products in private pharmacies had 47.22% availability, followed by private clinics 38% and lastly the public hospitals 25%, while the generic medicines had 25% availability in private pharmacies, 22.22% in clinics and 19.44% in public hospitals. The most affordable branded product in private pharmacies is acetazolamide tablets (0.16 ± 0.02 days) and timolol 0.5% eye drop (0.59 ± 0.04 days), while the most unaffordable product is Combigan (12.71 ± 0.17 days). The public hospital had same trend, the least affordable medicine being Diamox and most unaffordable was Xalacomb. However, timolol 0.25% was the most affordable in private clinics while Xalacomb was the most unaffordable. The availability of antiglaucoma drugs in Benin City is suboptimal and some are unaffordable across the different sectors. Government and donor agencies should subsidize and make them accessible to patients.
Keywords: Availability, Affordability, Antiglaucoma