The Revolving Fund Pharmacy Model: backing up the Ministry of Health supply chain in western Kenya

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International Journal of Pharmacy Practice


Objectives: A pressing challenge in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) is inadequate access to essential medicines, especially for chronic diseases. The Revolving Fund Pharmacy (RFP) model is an initiative to provide high-quality medications consistently to patients, using revenues generated from the sale of medications to sustainably resupply medications. This article describes the utilization of RFPs developed by the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) with the aim of stimulating the implementation of similar models elsewhere to ensure sustainable access to quality and affordable medications in similar LMIC settings. Methods: The service evaluation of three pilot RFPs started between April 2011 and January 2012 in select government facilities is described. The evaluation assessed cross-sectional availability of essential medicines before and after implementation of the RFPs, number of patient encounters and the impact of community awareness activities. Findings: Availability of essential medicines in the three pilot RFPs increased from 40%, 36% and <10% to 90%, 94% and 91% respectively. After the first year of operation, the pilot RFPs had a total of 33 714 patient encounters. As of February 2014, almost 3 years after starting up the first RFP, the RFPs had a total of 115 991 patient encounters. In the Eldoret RFP, community awareness activities led to a 51% increase in sales. Conclusions: With proper oversight and stakeholder involvement, this model is a potential solution to improve availability of essential medicines in LMICs. These pilots exemplify the feasibility of implementing and scaling up this model in other locations.

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