Project Lead(s): Imran Manji
In government-owned healthcare facilities in western Kenya, it is common for medications to be out of stock.
As a result, patients have to resort to the private sector for their medications, which are more expensive, less accessible and often of unknown quality.
Implemented in Kenya, the project sought to improve access to quality and affordable essential medicines.
To ensure reliable and affordable access to pharmaceuticals, AMPATH partnered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to implement a Revolving Fund Pharmacy (RFP) at each health facility.
These pharmacies act as a back-up and provide medication to patients only when they are out of stock at the MOH pharmacy. Patient co-pays are slightly higher than government co-pays, but substantially lower than prices at commercial pharmacies.
Co-pays are collected in an independent bank account and used to re-stock the RFP, ensuring sustainability beyond the initial stock of drugs.
The project began with nine revolving fund pharmacies and provided medications to 32 dispensaries, through a partnership with AMPATH’s Chronic Disease Management program.
Medications were also supplied to seven community groups participating in group care in rural Kenya, through another project that links microfinance groups to chronic disease care.
The RFP model enabled over 327,444 people to be served and improved essential drug availability from 40% to >90% at nine health facilities.
Due to the rural nature of the catchment area, there are also plans to initiate a mobile pharmacy model that will travel between sites across rural community units, partnering with group care models and dispensary sites to resupply medication stocks.
The RFPs have generated a cumulative income of $33,111 over 18 months, demonstrating that not only are the RFPs able to be sustainable but they are also able to realize small profits that can be re-invested into the facilities to improve patient care and infrastructure.
The project team is open to partnerships with other government entities, NGOs and social entrepreneurs.