Dr. Jonathan Quick's Remarks on Accredited Drug Shops at Clinton Global Initiative Pitching for Partnerships

Accredited Drug Shops: Pitch for Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting 2014

Read Dr. Quick's remarks (as prepared)

Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, Management Sciences for Health

Two billion people – one third of the world’s population  – lack regular access to quality essential medicines.   

In rural Tanzania, as in most low income countries, when people are sick enough to seek treatment their first stop is not a trained health provider or clinic.  No, their first stop is the drug seller down the street. What do they get?  Too often: small quantities – high price – poor quality –  wrong drug. The result:  prolonged suffering – or worse – death from a bad treatment.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  Take a walk with me down a long dirt road in the Ruvuma region of southern Tanzania.    [SLIDE] 

There you will find Frieda Komba.   Inside her small, clean, colorful community health shop, Frida provides reliable health information.   She dispenses essential medicines and health supplies:

  1. for major childhood killers like malaria and diarrhea
  2. for family planning
  3. for AIDS prevention
  4. and for other common health needs

Frieda is a licensed drug dispenser – a new class of health provider in Tanzania.

  • She’s the owner of her Accredited Drug Shop.
  • Frieda saves lives and improves health in her own community. 
  • And, she has the financial security of having her own business.

Frieda is not alone.  Tanzania now has 15,000 Frieda’s – 90% of whom are women.  How has this happened?


Management Sciences for Health is a global non-profit working in over 60 countries to build
strong locally led, locally run health systems.  A decade ago we decided to tackle the neglected chaos of unlicensed drug sellers by teaming up:

  1. with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  2. with Tanzania’s visionary minister of health and bold chief pharmacist
  3. and with a progressive private sector.

The result was an innovative public—private partnership:  Accredited Drug Shops. Today Accredited Drug Shops can be found in virtually every town and village in Tanzania. From Tanzania, MSH has spread this health systems innovation to Uganda, Liberia and Zambia. Thousands of Accredited Drug Shops in these countries now provide access to affordable essential medicines to nearly 36 million people.

This is a proven, scalable, sustain social enterprise.   And Accredited Drug Shops have been shown to improve access, treatment appropriateness, and quality – as well as reduce unsafe injections.

SO why do we need your help?  [SLIDE]

We want more Frieda’s – 10’s of 1000s more.

  • Management Sciences for Health has made a CGI commitment to help countries expand access to Accredited Drug Shops to least 70 million people in Africa.
  • We’re over halfway there.

Walk down the rest of the road with us to help us reach all 70 million.

MSH is looking for three types of partners:

  1. Social Enterprise Partners – for start-up in new countries, at a cost of $1M per country. 
  2. Scale Partners – to expand coverage in current countries - average cost of $100,000 per district
  3. Innovation Partners to add:
  • emerging areas like heart disease and diabetes
  • more products and services for women and girls  
  • ePayment  ·   campaigns for consumer awareness   ·   and other service improvements 

MSH’s vision is a world where everyone has the opportunity for a health life.

To help realize this vision, our dream is to establish Accredited Drug Shops throughout Africa
– and far beyond. 

We invite you to join us. Thank you.