Pharmaceutical Management: Our Impact

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.

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

A project of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) is led by the non-profit Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM)—a partnership of John Snow, Inc. (JSI), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH). The Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) established a local field office in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in early 2013. As one of the most recent additions to the SCMS global portfolio of countries, the local staff of five has sought to scale up and produce results extremely quickly. SCMS’ primary mandate in the DRC is to supply the HIV commodities needed by six PEPFAR implementing partners that are spread across four of the DRC’s eleven provinces. These six implementing partners provide care to some of the most at-need populations within the DRC. They have set ambitious treatment targets and depend on SCMS to deliver the commodities that will allow them to meet those needs. The commodities supplied by SCMS range from antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to antibiotics needed to treat opportunistic infections, lab equipment, supplies and test kits. This year, 22,514 Congolese people will receive treatment with ARVs supplied by SCMS.

 {Photo credit: Erin Polich/MSH.}Tambura County, South Sudan.Photo credit: Erin Polich/MSH.

Located in Western Equatoria State of South Sudan, Tambura County is poor, remote, and struggling to overcome the effects of decades of civil war. Yet, finding solutions to complex problems is not new for the people of Tambura County. When it came time to fix the broken pharmaceutical system, with the help of SIAPS, Tambura County’s health authorities took the initiative to shift away from the push supply system for pharmaceuticals to a pull system.

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

For more than eight years, the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) has been saving lives through stronger supply chains. Funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), SCMS is supporting rapid scale-up of HIV/AIDS programs, creating a reliable global supply chain where none existed, leveraging economies of scale to reduce costs, and serving as an emergency provider of choice for AIDS programs. SCMS is managed by the non-profit Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM)—a partnership of John Snow, Inc. (JSI), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

 {Photo credit: Francis Aboagye-Nyame/MSH}SIAPS West Africa Regional Program launches, April 2014.Photo credit: Francis Aboagye-Nyame/MSH

Antiretroviral (ARV) medicines are a matter of life or death for people who are HIV-positive.  In West Africa, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) is working to make sure people have uninterrupted access to these life-saving medicines.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

For over a decade, the Government of Ethiopia has been working to improve tuberculosis (TB) screening and has been greatly successful in increasing case detection. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, solving one problem created another: the nation now struggles to maintain an adequate supply of medicine to treat the newly diagnosed patients. Health facilities experience frequent stock outs of anti-TB medications, leaving many patients without treatment for weeks and even months.

 {Photo credit: SIAPS Namibia staff/MSH.}A health worker in Namibia using the Electronic Dispensing Tool (EDT).Photo credit: SIAPS Namibia staff/MSH.

When a pharmaceutical information management tool was adopted in Namibia, not only did its functionality improve health service delivery, but it also eased the burden on healthcare workers. Although HIV incidence is dropping, roughly 13 percent of adults in Namibia were infected with HIV in 2012. In some areas of the country, however, prevalence is much higher. In the Oshana region, about 28 percent of adults were living with HIV in 2010.

 {Photo credit: Yvonne Otieno/MSH.}Dr. Rafida, a pharmacist at Coast Provincial General Hospital, enters patient information into the ADT pharmacy management software.Photo credit: Yvonne Otieno/MSH.

“My wife was the first to discover her status. After giving birth, she started feeling unwell and […] tested positive for HIV,” says Mzee Ahmed*, who later learned his son, Juma, was also HIV positive. “After learning my wife’s status, it took me awhile to get tested but I eventually got the courage to get tested. The test was positive and I was also put on antiretroviral treatment,” explains Ahmed. Six years later, they all remain on their antiretroviral (ARV) drug regimens and visit health facilities regularly to refill their ARV prescriptions.

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