The SIAPS approach to engaging the retail pharmacy sector combines strategies in the access framework and recommendations from the WHO and International Pharmaceutical Federation joint statement in 2010, which strongly emphasized the importance of pharmacists’ contributions to different tasks essential for quality TB care. The key overarching strategy is to build broad stakeholder involvement that includes national programs (NTPs), professional associations, and private sector associations and to ensure the International Standards of TB Care are integrated into private sector. At the core of access is the need to provide medicines and services that are safe, efficacious, cost-effective, and of high quality. Availability is only one aspect of ensuring access to medicines—equally important are accessibility, several studies cite private sector providers as geographically accessible and convenient; affordability, that is price and ability to pay, which perhaps remain the greatest barriers to access TB services in the private sector; and acceptability, which concerns cultural and personal preferences.
Technical Report: Engaging Private Sector Pharmacies in Pakistan to Increase Early TB Case Detection
Since its launch in 2003, the NHIS has been struggling to overcome and manage shortcomings in its medicines benefit program (MBP), which is under the overall operation of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA). Examples of identified deficiencies that need to be addressed include: frequency of the update of selected medicines; inadequacy of prices quoted by the NHIS for reimbursement; increased stock-outs of essential medicines at health facilities; a growing number of patients who occasionally have to pay out of pocket for medicines; and the rising value of medicines claims as a proportion of total claims.
To systematically address challenges in the NHIS’ MBP, it was important to undertake an assessment of its current management system to identify the causes, extent, and nature of the problems and to suggest remedial actions. To this end, with funding from USAID and in collaboration with key stakeholders, SIAPS conducted an assessment of the NHIS’ MBP. The findings and recommendations of the assessment will be used to guide the NHIA on strategies to improve the design of the MBP, and to strengthen medicines claims management, pricing, and reimbursement processes. This intervention was also done with the aim of enhancing the availability of medicines and acceptability of the medicines program by all stakeholders.
Guidance for Planning the Introduction of New Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Medicines and Supplies
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to program managers in ministries of health at national and sub-national levels as well as personnel in other interested organizations on actions to take and factors to consider when expanding access to essential RMNCH commodities. While this document focuses on RMNCH medicines and supplies, it may be used as a guiding document and planning tool for other essential medicines and supplies. This guide addresses several pharmaceutical management issues (pharmaceutical policies, effective medicine management, strengthening regulatory systems, information needs, and product quality and safety practices) that are often overlooked when considering the introduction of new products. The systems strengthening approach described in this document focuses on governance, human resources, information systems, financing, and service delivery, with the provision of medical products cutting across these sub-systems. The goal of this guidance document is to assist managers to systematically plan for the successful introduction of new medicines and supplies by harmonizing and aligning efforts among all stakeholders involved in the process.
Barriers and Opportunities to Effectively Engage Private Sector Retail Pharmacies as DOTS Centers in Pakistan
As part of an ongoing pilot project to engage about 500 private retail pharmacies in six cities of Pakistan (Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, and Sukkur) in the early detection and referral of tuberculosis (TB) cases, stakeholders in the National TB Program (NTP) have discussed the potential of pharmacies providing DOTS to clients. The present study was designed to evaluate the knowledge, perceptions, dispensing practices, case management, and adherence to standard NTP guidelines by dispensers, and the pattern of TB medicine sales by volume, brand, and price at community pharmacies.
Report on Work to Raise Awareness on the Introduction of 7.1 Percent Chlorhexidine Digluconate for Umbilical Cord Care in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Ministry of Health, through the Department for the Health of Families and Specific Groups (D10), organized a workshop on August 29–30, 2013, to sensitize policy makers and operational partners. This resulted in development of the outline for a strategic plan for the introduction and use of 7.1 percent CHX for umbilical cord care in the DRC. This workshop was also the first activity in the implementation of phase I of the plan to eliminate bottlenecks for the 13 life-saving medicines for women and children.
An alarming number of countries are not on target to meet Millennium Development Goal to reduce maternal mortality despite efforts and investments made at both the global and national levels. Increasing access to and use of essential commodities for maternal health have recently gained attention as key concerns of several international initiatives. The United Nations (UN) Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children acknowledges supply and demand challenges as among the main barriers to access and use of these life-saving commodities.
A basic step in improving access to these commodities is making sure they are available where and when women need them. This requires proper supply planning which, for various reasons, has been a challenge in procuring essential maternal medicines.
The purpose of this document is to present an approach that will allow national program managers and other key stakeholders to assess a country’s theoretical need for the three overlooked life-saving maternal health commodities–oxytocin, magnesium sulfate, and misoprostol–and compare this with actual procurement data.
Presented at Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 during the session Improving Access to Essential Maternal Health Medicines. Read more about the conference here.
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