WEBINAR: Use of Retail Pharmacies for Public Sector Procurement in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Retail pharmacies are a crucial part of health systems and, in many countries, are responsible for dispensing a large proportion of health products and related services. In high-income countries, retail pharmacies often work on a contractual basis with public or private insurance to dispense medicines to public and private sector outpatients. In contrast, in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), government institutions are largely responsible for dispensing medicines to those who do not have the income to purchase medication at retail prices or who need life-saving medicines. However, many LMICs experience a lack of investment in the supply chain, financial, and human resources to guarantee the availability of essential health products and services in government institutions.
Can retail pharmacies be leveraged to increase equitable access to essential medicines, including family planning products, in LMICs?
A new thought leadership paper by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program explores the pros and cons and promising policies and strategies of using retail pharmacies to provide medicines and contraceptives to public sector clients in LMICs.
On May 19, 2022, USAID MTaPS hosted a webinar to share the study findings, presented by its core partner, Boston University, and led a panel discussion on the implications for the implementation of retail pharmacies and public sector partnerships.