Health expenditure on drugs in Thailand has been increasing substantially. It was estimated that drug costs accounted for more than 40% of the total health expenditure. This is due to the change in population structure, complicated health conditions and expensive technology. Additionally, arrangements in the drug system also affect the performance to control drug costs as well as the country’s ability to maintain good health for the Thai population. These include management of the overall drug supply chain, the inputs such as human resource, financing provided to the drug system and, most importantly, policy and regulations on pharmaceutical products at national and international levels.
Access to affordable essential medicine on a sustainable basis is stated in the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.8 achieve universal health coverage (UHC). This can be achieved by a number of ways such as transparent pricing and procurement, increased regulatory capacity and streamlined administrative procedures, support to local manufacturing process and improvement in rational use of medicines.