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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Moving forward: Scaling up requires innovative new approaches and systems

James Rankin, Center for Pharmaceutical Management, Management Sciences for Health, 4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22203, 703-524-6575, jrankin@msh.org

Policy makers will have to explore new ways to expand their resources, such as regionalizing certain pharmaceutical management activities and adapting successful initiatives and tools for different settings. Regional bulk purchasing is a proven option for addressing pharmaceutical procurement problems, though sustainability can be challenging. If the elements are not in place for pooled procurement, a mechanism for countries to share procurement information requires less effort, but can potentially yield benefits. Such collaboration could range from sharing price and supplier information to undertaking joint market research, while maintaining an individual procurement process. Regional pooled distribution, involving partnerships between multinational supply companies and public, faith-based, and local commercial organizations could be a significant option. Also, establishing a primary distributor system may be an opportunity in places where private-sector distributors have adequate capacity.

The Strategies for Enhancing Access to Medicines (SEAM) Program worked in Tanzania, Ghana, and El Salvador between 2001 and 2005 to test models for involving the private sector in increasing access to medicines and building the capacity of the public health supply chain. SEAM helped El Salvador implement a successful pooled purchasing program and established initiatives to improve pharmaceutical access using private drug sellers in Ghana and Tanzania. SEAM also gained valuable experience regarding the potential impact of and constraints to implementing primary distributor programs in Tanzania and El Salvador. We believe that a change in thinking and an openness to adopting new pharmaceutical supply paradigms are essential starting points for meeting the scale-up challenge.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Any relevant financial relationships? No

    Meeting the Pharmaceuticals Access Scale-up Challenge

    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA