Objective In national drug policies of many countries, ensuring availability and affordability of essential medicines is indicated among the major policy objectives. To achieve the objectives, countries with low and middle income compile such medicines into NEMLs. This study aims to determine availability and affordability of commonly prescribed antibiotics at a tertiary hospital in Ethiopia by assessing (in private and public pharmacies) 13 antibiotics constituting DU90% at the hospital. Results Availability of the antibiotics in the private and public pharmacies was 92.3% and 98.5%, respectively. Average MPRs for the antibiotics were 4.1 and 2.7, respectively, in the private and public pharmacies. The days’ wages (in median prices) ranged from 0.2 for treating acute diarrhea with doxycycline to 415.8 for treating HAP in public pharmacies. Costs of a single day treatment with antibiotics purchased from the public pharmacies ranged from USD 0.1 for acute diarrhea to USD 29.7 for HAP. For the private pharmacies, the range was from USD 0.1 for toxoplasmosis to USD 54.9 for HAP. This study showed that treatments of commonly diagnosed infectious conditions at TASH remain unaffordable according to the WHO/HAI criteria.
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