Sustainable Drug Seller Initiatives: Our Impact

With thousands of people dying in West Africa from the Ebola virus and many more at risk, Liberia’s Accredited Medicine Stores (AMS) and other drug shops continue to help ensure access to pharmaceutical products and services at the community level even as other health facilities have closed down. They also offer the potential to contribute to the control of the lethal disease that has West Africa and the international community on high alert.

{Photo credit: MSH}Photo credit: MSH

Management Sciences for Health—with financial support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and other partners—has been working in Tanzania on scaling up the Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDO) Program since 2002, in support of the Government of Tanzania's efforts to improve access to essential medicines and pharmaceutical services.

 {Photo credit: Rui Pires}Accredited drug shop (ADS) in Uganda.Photo credit: Rui Pires

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly one-third of the developing world population lacks regular access to quality essential medicines. In rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, most people first turn to community drug shops for their medicines; yet these shops may not be legally licensed, have trained staff, or sell quality-assured medicines. Committed to Expanding Access to Quality Essential Medicines 

The trained medicine dispenser/proprietor signs paperwork to receive the official AMS logo for her store. {Photo credit: Arthur Loryoun/MSH Liberia}Photo credit: Arthur Loryoun/MSH Liberia

The Liberia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), Liberia Medicine and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) and the Pharmacy Board of Liberia (PBL) marked the successful launch of the Accredited Medicine Store (AMS) program in Liberia on February 12, 2013. The Sustainable Drug Seller Initiatives (SDSI) program supports the AMS initiative in Liberia through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Management Sciences for Health (MSH). 

In Tanzania, Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDO), private drug dispensers, are increasing access to quality pharmaceutical products and services in under-served, often rural areas of Tanzania through the use of regulation, training, and supervision. The program, through support from the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), focuses on improving training and dispensing practices at retail outlets and improving regulatory enforcement to assure product quality.

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