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    In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Good Governance for Medicines (GGM) initiative, with the aim of fighting corruption in the pharmaceutical sector. In the case of Zimbabwe, implementation of the initiative slowed down after the development phase. Often, lack of funding and technical considerations are cited as major reasons for issue de-prioritization whilst ignoring the influence of politics in mediating policy diffusion. Between June and August 2021, we conducted an in-depth document review and interviewed individuals involved with GGM in Zimbabwe to understand the political determinants of GGM prioritization in Zimbabwe. To guide and direct our analysis, we used the Shiffman and Smith framework. We found that the inception of GGM was facilitated by capable leaders, effective guiding institutions and resonance of the idea with the political environment. Prioritization from inception to implementation was constrained by limited citizen engagement, restriction of the issue to the pharmaceutical domain and a political transition that re-oriented policy priorities and reconfigured individual actor power. The portrayal of corruption as a priority problem requiring policy action has been hampered by the political sensitivity of the issue, lack of credible indicators on the prevalence and severity of the problem and challenges to measure the effectiveness of interventions such as the GGM. Despite the slowdown, from 2018 GGM actors have taken advantage of momentous policy windows to reconstitute their power by opportunistically framing GGM within the broader framework of access to essential medicines leading to the creation of new policy alliances and establishment of strategic political structures. To sustain the political prioritization, actors need to lobby for the institutionalization of GGM within the Ministry of Health strategy, sensitize citizens on the initiative, involve multiple stakeholders and frame the issue as a strategic intervention that underpins pharmaceutical sector performance within the national developmental framework. © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


    Alison T Mhazo, Charles C Maponga. The importance of prioritizing politics in Good Governance for Medicines Initiative in Zimbabwe: a qualitative policy analysis study. Health policy and planning. 2022 May 12;37(5):634-643

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    PMID: 35106585

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