Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Contribution to the Annual Report 2016 of the MMI Network

Strengthening of Medicines Supply Chain in Tanzania and Malawi – setting up pharmaceutical wholesale

Strengthening of Medicines Supply Chain in Tanzania and Malawi – setting up pharmaceutical wholesale

The medicines supply chain in developing countries is in the hands of central medical store, usually a governmental or semi-governmental institution, faith-based organizations and private companies. Adding to the complexity some medicines and medical supplies are often provided through “vertical programs” by international organizations like the Global Fund or GAVI. In spite of different providers, the health care facilities especially in the rural areas lack essential medicines.

For more than 50 years action medeor distributes medicines and medical supplies from its warehouse situated in Germany. One of action medeor’s visions is to strengthen local capacity in the pharmaceutical sector. This is done by the so-called pharmaceutical consultancy, for example support in improving pharmaceutical education on different levels and supporting local production.

Twelve years ago action medeor decided to get closer to its partners and customers. For this reason and in order to be more efficient and cost-effective, action medeor Germany initiated the establishment of a branch in Tanzania and Malawi. From its warehouses in Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe action medeor International Healthcare serves as a local procurement and distribution unit for essential medicines and medical supplies.

Our target groups are the non-commercial health sector, the health sector of faith-based groups, of national and international non-governmental organizations and of charitable institutions in Tanzania and Malawi. The subsidiaries operate as an alternative supply system to already existing systems in the country in a complementary spirit of cooperation for the benefit of the partners.

Due to a high demand, action medeor Tanzania opened an affiliate warehouse in Masasi, located 600km away from Dar es Salaam. Although the warehouse in the city of Dar es Salaam has already closed a big gap in the supply of medicines as well as medical equipment and supplies, supplying remote health care facilities in the country’s south is much easier and quicker from the new warehouse in Masasi.

In 2016 action medeor could celebrate the third anniversary and the successful operation of this affiliate warehouse. For action medeor the second warehouse is a further step to improve medical care in Tanzania. In its first three years, the warehouse in Masasi could already supply 330 health centers. The health centers receive their deliveries either at cost price or as a donation. For the first time, also the so-called 'Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets' (ADDOs) could be supplied. These are small, private medicine shops that often are the only source of supply for essential medicines in rural areas. By now more than 130 ADDOs have been supplied by action medeor.

action medeor is open to further decentralizing its pharmaceutical whole sale activities. Currently action medeor is in the process of evaluating various options for setting up regional non-profit wholesalers in certain African countries.


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