Access to Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policy in Saudi Arabia: A Scoping Review

Ahmer Hameed Mirza, Abdulmajeed Alqasomi, Faris El-Dahiyat, Zaheer Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: This scoping review includes studies on pharmaceutical access, shortages, generics, availability, pharmacoeconomics, and pricing restrictions. The study’s findings may aid in developing excellent pharmaceutical and access policies in the country.
Objective: To conduct a scoping review documenting access to medicines and Pharmaceutical Policy in Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: The PRISMA-ScR guidelines were used to perform a scoping review. The articles were screened using databases from Google Scholar, EBSCO, Science Direct, and the University of Huddersfield Library. The selection, aims, results, and conclusion of each original research publication published between 2010 and 2022 were evaluated. To categorize the articles, a theme analysis was done.
Results: This study includes nineteen publications. The chosen articles revealed four themes. Among these topics were: Access to medications 36.84% Pharmacoeconomic 36.84%), which were the predominant theme followed by Generic Medicines 15.80%, and Cancer drug financing 10.54%. There are myriad challenges related to high-cost medicines. Access restrictions to medications have significant effects on patient morbidity and mortality; as a result, policy decision-makers frequently consider this issue. Access to medicines suffers budgetary limitations and the increasing cost of innovative medicines. Access to medicines for all patients could be significantly impacted by delays in patient access to new therapies.
Conclusion: The available evidence revealed that Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system has numerous issues ranging from cancer drug financing, medicine shortages, and access issue. In order to achieve the highest health standards possible, it is crucial that each individual has access to medicines and has the financial, physical, and social means to do so. However, the price of some medications can be prohibitive for people who need to obtain them. The study’s outcomes could help the country develop pharmaceutical and access policies related to medicines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-155
Number of pages19
JournalIntegrated Pharmacy Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023

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