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Establishing Pooled Procurement Systems among Faith-Based Organizations: A Guidance Document for Successful Implementation

Faith-based organizations play a vital role in many developing countries in ensuring access to essential medicines and delivering health services to patients. This is particularly the case in rural areas, where public health facilities do not exist or are inadequate. However, many faith-based organizations face challenges with providing a continuous supply and reliable availability of essential medicines. The influx of poor-quality (counterfeit) medicines on the African continent is also a growing challenge. Furthermore, weak regulatory systems, poor enforcement of regulatory laws, and challenges associated with procurement and distribution of medicines by faith-based organization in many countries have resulted in varying approaches and designs of procurement mechanisms in this sector that are inefficient and not cost-effective.

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SIAPS Annual Report: Program Year 5

Systems thinking is now a widely accepted concept in global health. Governments, donors, and other actors in global health recognize that guaranteeing the availability of medicines is a necessary, but insufficient component to improving health outcomes. Rather, medicines availability must be bolstered by other components, such as ensuring that quality medicines are available and prescribed and dispensed appropriately by health care workers; patients must also use medicines properly. In order to achieve improvements in health for their populations and address health inequities, governments and donors must invest in strengthening health systems. A health system depends on its subcomponent, a pharmaceutical system, for the continuous availability of safe, effective, and affordable essential medicines and other health technologies of assured quality to deliver effective health interventions that improve health outcomes. This is in alignment with USAID’s Vision for Health Systems Strengthening (2015-2019). To this end, the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program focuses on achieving positive health outcomes by assuring the availability of quality pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services.

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Financing for the Procurement of Medicines and Supplies for the Diagnosis and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Dominican Republican

In 2012, the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program carried out a study that concluded there was a USD 2.5 million financial gap for providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to 22,440 patients who were hoped to be covered in 2013. This estimate included an expanded security stock that would avoid scarcities caused by delays in purchases or shipments. The presentation and discussion of this study with authorities and specialists from the Ministry of Public Health (Ministerio de Salud Pública, or MSP), the National Council on HIV/AIDS (Consejo Nacional del VIH/SIDA, or CONAVIHSIDA), and international aid agencies allowed the referenced financial gaps to be closed by means of better price negotiation with international suppliers and the first-time allocation of USD 1.9 million for the purchase of ARVs in the MSP budget. In 2013 only USD 350,000 was required from PEPFAR to cover shortages in supplies.

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Quantification of Health Commodities: RMNCH Supplement

This guide will assist program managers, service providers, and technical experts when conducting a quantification of commodity needs for the 13 reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health commodities prioritized by the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.

These 13 commodities have diverse characteristics: some are new products that are in the process of being introduced at scale and some are products that have been in use for many years but are under-used or not available when needed or in the recommended formulation. However, one commonality shared by all is the need to increase access to these commodities among the women and children who need or want them. A major component of access is availability and to ensure availability, accurate estimates of supply requirements are needed. At the global level, this information can inform both donors’ plans for procurement and manufacturers’ plans for production. At the national level, this information is also essential for budgeting, resource mobilization, and planning for procurement and supply chain operations.

Currently, accurate estimates of need are unavailable for many of the 13 commodities at either the global or national levels. Therefore, many of the Commission’s work plans have included activities related to collecting this information through market sizing or quantification exercises. The Commission’s 2012 report also notes that improved quantification efforts are needed as part of supply chain improvement. This guide provides practical guidance on estimating the quantities of supplies needed by programs as part of a national quantification exercise. While this guidance was developed primarily for public sector and NGO programs, the methodology presented could also be relevant for forecasting commodity needs for the private sector.

This is the updated version of the guide, published in January 2016. The original was published in 2014. 

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Framework Contracting in Ukraine: A Story of Success

In Ukraine in recent years, failed rounds of centralized public tenders for pharmaceuticals and blockage of public funds in antimonopoly litigations were regarded as a harbinger of the impending crisis in the public health sector. The Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program was requested to step in and provide technical assistance to improve the system of public pharmaceutical procurement and enhance the expertise of the selected regional health administrations and individual health care facilities. Framework contracting was viewed as the most effective procurement technique to ensure value for money in the contexts of decentralization and diverse regional specifics. SIAPS led the implementation of framework contracting into the oblast procurement practices in two oblasts, with the ultimate goal of bringing systemic changes into the national health procurement system.

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New course on good governance in the management of medicines now available

From the development of sound policies and legislation, to the selection, procurement, and distribution of medicines; governance issues permeate all levels of the pharmaceutical sector and heavily influence the availability and accessibility of medicines and other health commodities. The USAID-funded SIAPS project is pleased to announce the launch of a new course on USAID’s Global Health […]

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How Public Funds Were Spent on Procurement of Medicines in Ukraine’s Hospitals: Interim Analysis for the Ministry of Health, Ukraine

Pharmaceuticals may constitute as much as 40% of the health care budget in low and middle-income countries, yet large portions of the population may lack access to even the most essential medicines. The limited public sector funds are frequently spent on ineffective or unnecessary medications. An analysis of past spending patterns on procurement of medicines will help the Ministry of Health policymakers and key government stakeholders in Ukraine for decisions on adopting the national Essential Medicines List (EML) in practice.

The purpose of this technical brief is twofold:

  • To demonstrate the need to rationalize limited public funds for maximum health impact.
  • To emphasize the need for proper selection of medicines based on WHO recommendations and the rationale for an EML as the sole basis for public sector procurement in Ukraine.

After summarizing high-level data analysis, this technical brief also takes a close look at insulins and analogues that account for the most expenditure.

This [report] is extremely useful. We need to use this information for the purpose of reforming the procurement system as well. The EML has become even more necessary now.”

– Dr. Ihor Perehinets, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine

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Procurement of Health Products: An Operational Guideline for UNITAID Grantees

UNITAID is a global health initiative, established to provide sustainable, predictable, and additional funding to significantly impact market dynamics to reduce prices and increase the availability and supply of high-quality commodities for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB), primarily for people living in low-resource settings.

The SIAPS Program supported the development of this guideline, which informs grantees of the principles, norms, standards, and procedures that apply when UNITAID funds are used for procurement. Recognizing the importance of harmonizing UNITAID’s procurement approach with established international best practices, this guideline is the result of a comprehensive desk review of the procurement practices of other organizations including, but not limited to, the Global Fund, WHO, the World Bank, and UNICEF.

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Piloting Framework Agreements for Procurements in Ukraine

The introduction of framework agreements for the 2015 public health care procurements in the Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts of Ukraine reduces the risk of stock-out and helps employees more efficiently use their time by creating more flexible, shorter procurement procedures, while decreasing the opportunity for corruption. These framework agreements, the first to be used for […]

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Emergency procurements of HIV rapid test kits avert stock-outs in Lesotho

With more than 20% of Lesotho’s population living with HIV, the need to scale up preventive measures has been recognized as crucial in the country’s fight against the disease. Although the estimated number of new HIV infections per year decreased from 30,000 in 2005 to 26,000 in 2013, the country has historically experienced low levels of […]

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