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Table 2 Definitions of the primary outcomes

From: Systematic reviews of ten pharmaceutical pricing policies – a research protocol

TermOperational definitionMeasurement unit
PricePrice components, observed or derived, along the value chain from manufacturer, distributor, service providers to patientsAbsolute or percentage changes in reported currency unit(s) or price indices. Expenditure or sales data (aggregate of price and volume) as a proxy for price and volume if these are not individually reported.
VolumeQuantity provided or usedNumber of units sold, supplied, prescribed, dispensed, or consumed
AvailabilityA patient is able to obtain when needed, for free or for a fixed fee, a pharmaceutical product which is listed on the national formularyPresence-absence binary measurement and qualitative assessment as reported, e.g. a medicine is available when it is found in this facility by the data collector on the day of the visit
Affordability“the ability to purchase a necessary quantity of a product or level of a service without suffering undue financial hardship” World Bank cited by Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines.For health system: Proportion of spending on medicines compared to historical expenditure on medicines or other health products and services, or as reported in the literature
 For individual patients: The number of days’ wages needed to pay for the cost of treatment, using wage benchmarks such as salary of the lowest paid government worker and national minimum wage, or as reported in the literature