Expanding Access to Malaria Treatment through Private Pharmacies in Angola
|Source: Joana Rosário, The MENTOR Initiative|
In Angola, PMI has funded a pilot of the sale of a subsidized ACT, artemether-lumefantrine, under the brand name Coartem through private pharmacies. The three year program, run in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the NMCP, and the local association of private pharmacists, involved 95 percent of private pharmacies in two municipalities of Huambo Province. The aim of the project was to increase availability and use of quality-assured ACTs and reduce the price of ACTs while increasing the share of the market that ACTs occupy.
At the start of the project, ACTs in private pharmacies in the project area were prohibitively expensive ($20–$40 per treatment) due to a lack of competition and low demand. The price of the branded Coartem® in those pharmacies taking part in the pilot was only $0.75 per treatment. During the past year, more than 1 million ACT treatments procured by PMI were distributed through Huambo’s private pharmacies for the treatment of malaria in children under five years of age. The provision of ACTs was accompanied with training for pharmacy staff dispensing the antimalarials, monthly monitoring and supervision visits to every participating pharmacy, and marketing and education activities in surrounding communities. Sales data show an impressive increase in the market share of ACTs for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria from 4 percent in July 2009 to 86 percent in July 2011. Over the same period, sales of oral artemisinin monotherapies, which are not recommended for use in malaria treatment, declined from 38 to 7 percent as did sales of non-artemisinin therapies (from 58 to 6 percent).