All RPM Plus country programs adopted a systematic approach that focused on improving the availability of essential medicines and other health commodities and to decreasing the irrational use of medicines.
As a first step in working within each cooperating country, RPM Plus identified the causes of problems by developing an understanding of how the country's drug management system functions. RPM Plus assessed the drug management system in order to provide health managers with a clearer understanding of problem areas. Specific activities for each country focused on assisting health care professionals, decision makers, and other country leaders during various stages of their planning for health sector reforms. Over time, RPM Plus worked with a wide range of stakeholders within each country to identify interventions or policy options that addressed the problems.
Together, country counterparts and RPM Plus developed strategies and action plans for interventions considered most likely to yield the greatest or most rapid results in increasing availability and improving the use of essential medicines and other health commodities. During all steps of country program planning and implementation, RPM Plus provided technical assistance, training, and tools to complete the work.
RPM Plus helped local programs use their scarce financial resources to support achievable improvements. RPM Plus also pursued many forms of leveraging in order to sustain country programs, including sharing technical expertise and tools and identifying opportunities for donors to contribute funding to interventions.
In all country programs, RPM Plus stressed the need for a consensus of involvement and commitment from a wide range of stakeholders, including—
- Ministries of health, finance, and economic development
- Nongovernmental organizations
- Private-sector health care providers
- Local industry
This involvement and collaboration fulfilled a main goal of each RPM Plus country program: to identify and develop institutions and local staff who can work side by side with RPM Plus staff, partners, and consultants. The local staff could then develop and mentor additional local collaborators, who will help sustain improvements in the availability of essential medicines and other health commodities.
Previous RPM Plus country programs include-