Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: SCMS}SCMS staff provides technical assistance to head of pharmacy at Hôpital Bernard Mevs in Haiti.Photo credit: SCMS

Hôpital Bernard Mevs is one of 177 sites where the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), a US President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded project, delivers lifesaving HIV & AIDS drugs and commodities in Haiti. On any given day, dozens of the more than 1,070 patients currently on antiretroviral treatment (ART) at the hospital wait outside the pharmacy’s door where Rose-Marie Marcelin dispenses their monthly supply of medication.

 {Photo credit: Jean-Jacques Augustin.}SCMS leads a national quantification exercise to ensure the availability of lifesaving drugs for nearly 55,000 HIV & AIDS patients.Photo credit: Jean-Jacques Augustin.

An estimated 141,000 people live with HIV in Haiti. In support of the Ministry of Public Health and the Population (MSPP)’s continued effort to improve the lives of people living with the virus, the US Government, through the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), collaborates with the National AIDS Program to achieve its objective of having at least 90 percent of the eligible population on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by September 2015.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Ethiopia.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Ethiopia.

This story originally appeared on SIAPSProgram.org. This year’s National Annual Review led by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) brought together more than 850 health professionals from across the country to discuss the way forward in public health for the coming year. The MoH identified eight priority areas, one of them being the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program/Ethiopia's transformative APTS system—the first time a pharmacy area was selected as part of the annual review meeting agenda.

 Screenshot of SIAPS West Africa Regional Project dashboard shows national stock status in Niger; three products in blue have more than 100 months in stock.

Alerts of stock-outs of life-saving medicines for antiretroviral therapy (ART) and treating opportunistic infections have emerged from a number of countries in West Africa. Several root causes of stock-outs have been identified such as poor coordination and information sharing among partners.

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: PFSCM.}Photo credit: PFSCM.

Since 2006, the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) has been working with Guyana’s Ministry of Health to strengthen the supply chain responsible for delivering life-saving medicines. An integral part of Guyana’s Ministry of Health, the Materials Management Unit (MMU), is responsible for managing, storing, and distributing drugs and health commodities to the country’s public health facilities.

Working group meeting

To ensure successful treatment and prevention of TB, countries should have strong pharmaceutical management systems to ensure uninterrupted supply of quality anti-TB medicines. Acknowledging shortcomings of the existing TB pharmaceutical management system (TB PM), Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health (MOH) requested that SIAPS provide assistance and conduct a countrywide TB PM assessment. SIAPS, in collaboration with the WHO Country Office and the TB PM Working Group (created by MOH), conducted the assessment.

Dr. Andrew Nyandigisi from the Malaria Control Unit discusses lessons learned in the implementation of DHIS2 with workshop participants. {Photo credit: Yvonne Otieno/MSH.}Photo credit: Yvonne Otieno/MSH.

An effective reporting system for health commodities is critical to ensure accountability, enable informed decision making, and provide timely access to information. Using DHIS2 to Manage Data for Malaria Commodities

 {Photo credit: Annette Scheckler/MSH.}Pharmacist Bethlehem Nega counsels a patient.Photo credit: Annette Scheckler/MSH.

Updated January 30, 2015 A Phone Call for Health Alongside a road in a remote area of the Amhara Region, Solomon Dawit*, a truck driver from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, sits waiting for a ride to the nearest town. He has two big problems: his truck has broken down and he doesn’t know how long it would take to get the parts needed to fix it. Another problem?  He is running out of his lifesaving antiretroviral (ARV) medication. After one month of waiting, Dawit’s truck is fixed, and he heads back home to Addis Ababa.

Kwesi Eghan, courtesy.

Used appropriately, medicines save lives, decrease effect or cure diseases, and improve quality of life. Medicines are also key determinants of health care quality, and can be among the most cost-effective uses of scarce health care resources. At the same time, management of medicines is a major source of inefficiencies in health care systems around the world...- Kwesi Eghan We spoke with Kwesi Eghan, MSc, MBA, BPharm, about the role of medicine and sound medicines benefits management for countries to successfully achieve universal health coverage.

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