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Tem Mais pharmacy network: a growing business!

USAID implementing Partner PSI supported by USAID and ExxonMobil launched the Tem Mais (Have more) pharmacy network in Huambo, Angola, in April 2014. Tem Mais brings affordable and accurate malaria rapid diagnostic tests and treatment directly to communities, for the first time. All pharmacies branded with Tem Mais have recently been authorized by the provincial health authorities to perform rapid diagnostic tests and administer malaria treatment services through existing private pharmacies. It is quickly establishing itself as a great mechanism to increase communities’ access to quality malaria case management. The rapid diagnostic tests and malaria treatments are socially marketed to increase people’s likelihood to get tested.

In October 2014, an assessment of the Tem Mais pharmacy network provided evidence of its success. With over ten thousand clients served in about six months, Tem Mais local pharmacies are becoming a point of reference in their respective localities. The pharmacists’ training in customer service to support and guide clients in making good health care decisions, is an asset that benefits customers in general, not just those seeking malaria care. The advantages are not exclusive to the local consumers in Huambo. Pharmacy owners report higher customer flow resulting in higher sales of other pharmaceutical products. Between October to November, Tem Mais pharmacies sold 10,570 malaria rapid diagnostic tests and 6,220 malaria treatments. Consumers look for the Tem Mais pharmacies because they know they will find a trustworthy in malaria treatment products.

Because public pharmacies close early and only open sporadically during the weekend, the Tem Mais branding materials are excellent ways to identify the location and attract clients who prefer to skip the long lines of public facilities or who need services when the public facilities are closed. Some people are already asking for rapid tests for other diseases. In the next year, Tem Mais will be reinforced with a promotional campaign and the implementation of an intensive interpersonal communication strategy to increase awareness on malaria and create greater demand for malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test services through the Tem Mais pharmacy network. Tem Mais is an opportunity to standardize malaria case management, ensure quality malaria treatments are available in the private sector and discourage the use of monotherapies already banned by the government.