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Axis 2 / Subject 2 - Organization of MEG supply networks


Cartographic sketch of the supply sector in medicines: Results of a research study carried out by the WHO


Magali BABALEY, pharmacist, technical specialist at WHO (Geneva), Procurement Management Unit, Team for Access to Medicines and Rational Utilisation (MAR), Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies (EMP).

General scheme of the Presentation
  • Presentation of cartographic models of supply systems and distribution of medicines and other health products in Africa (« Challenges in supply systems and distribution of drugs and other health products in Africa: A cartographic model for informing funding organisations and actors in the public and private not for profit fields »): methodology of the research study, review, analysis, recommendations.
  • In order to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential medicines and effective health products, of good quality, which are physically and financially accessible and which are used rationally, numerous countries have set up national supply systems based on a pyramidal structure including a purchasing centre which distributes to health organizations, directly or indirectly via regional and district depots.
  • During recent years, a growing number of partners have made financial contributions to support the supply of medicines and in particular those for so-called « priority » diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These partners are multilateral and bilateral organizations, private foundations, United Nations organizations, religious organizations, NGOs or private companies.
  • Frequently these partners set up parallel distribution and supply systems, leading to a global system which becomes more and more complex.
  • In this context and for purposes of ensuring an uninterrupted supply of medicines which is coordinated, coherent and efficient, the Departments of Health from twelve African countries ( Burundi, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia et Tanzania) have carried out, with the support of the WHO, a cartographic model for all partners and actors involved in the supply and distribution of essential medicines and other health products. In particular, the main concern was to present an inventory of financial flows and pharmaceutical flows displaying all the circuits in place and all the partners and actors involved.
Essential questions on which the presentation is based

What potential initiatives can be envisaged for co-ordinating and harmonising MED supply approaches (financial circuits, procurement circuits, distribution circuits,...)?


Roll of the private sector in supplying essential medicines


Mahamane SEKOU, Director of SAPHAR (private wholesaler under Nigerian law, in Niamey), former Director General of ONPCC (Niger national purchasing authority).

General scheme of the Presentation

View from the private sector of the pharmaceutical market in Africa: the example of the private wholesaler SAPHAR, in Niamey, Niger.

Essential questions on which the presentation is based
  • What is the role played by the private sector (and what could that role become) in making good MEG available at an accessible price, for the benefit of populations in low and middle income countries?
  • How is the private sector positioned in these circuits (in the case of Niger)
  • What are the required elements for involving the private sector in these circuits?