Surveying Global Availability of Parkinson's Disease Treatment

Zhao H.K. Goh, Julia L.Y. Cheong, Connie Marras, Caroline M. Tanner, Meike Kasten, Amos D. Korczyn, Lana Chahine, Raymond Lo, Alastair J. Noyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease with both motor and non-motor manifestations. Available treatment reduces symptoms and is critical for improving quality of life. Treatment options include drugs, device-aided therapies, and non-pharmacological therapies. Complementary and alternative therapies (CATs) are also used in some countries. Objective: To examine the availability of PD treatment by country, and differences by national income as defined by the World Bank (high income countries (HICs), upper middle income countries (UMICs), lower middle income countries (LMICs) and low income countries (LICs)). Methods: This study was conducted by surveying International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society members about availability of PD treatment. LMICs and LICs (LMICs/LICs) were analysed together. Results: There were 352 valid responses from 76 countries (41.5% from HICs, 30.4% from UMICs, and 28.1% from LMICs/LICs). Levodopa was widely available across all income groups (99%). Availability of other PD drugs decreased with national income. Availability of device-aided therapies decreased with national income (100% availability in HICs, 92.5% among UMICs, and 57.6% among LMICs/LICs). A similar trend was observed for CATs (37.0% availability in HICs, 31.8% in UMICs, and 19.2% in LMIC/LICs). Physiotherapy was the most available non-pharmacological therapy (> 90% respondents). Occupational therapy and SALT were less available in LMIC/LICs (49.5% and 55.6% respectively) compared to HICs (80.1% and 84.9% respectively). Conclusion: Our survey highlights significant discrepancies in availability of PD treatments between countries and income groups. This is concerning given the symptomatic benefit patients gain from treatment. Improving equitable access to PD treatment should be prioritised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1034
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Access
  • Parkinson's disease
  • epidemiology
  • medication


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