Improving Access to Essential Medicines for South Africa

HIV/AIDS Medication
HIV/AIDS Medication
USAID/Southern Africa

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 31, 2016
Tebogo Sepeng
012 452 2363

Pretoria, South Africa

USAID has awarded a five-year, $37.6 million project to work in partnership with the Government of South Africa to improve the public health supply chain. This will improve the availability of medicines, while reducing wait times and stock-outs; making sure medicines are available in the right place at the right time.

The USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program in South Africa was awarded to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to continue providing support to the South African government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with the ultimate goal of expanding health coverage and achieving an AIDS-free generation.

The South African government manages the largest HIV treatment program in the world with over 3.5 million people accessing these lifesaving medicines. Since 1997, USAID has partnered with the South African government on a number of initiatives to promote access to and availability of medicines to all South Africans.

“The National Department of Health welcomes the newly awarded project which will contribute toward the collective efforts of the South African government and its development partners in improving access to essential medicines” remarked Mr. Gavin Steel, Chief Director of Sector Wide Procurement at the National Department of Health.

One of the key interventions to be supported by the USAID project is the continued expansion of the Department of Health’s highly innovative program which allows patients affected by chronic diseases to pick-up their medicines in easy-to-access private pharmacies rather than queuing in long lines at the already overburdened public health facilities.

Capitalizing on PwC’s deep private sector expertise, the new USAID project will also support the Department of Health to optimize its information systems, processes and supply chain distribution network to make sure the right medicines are available in the right place at the right time.

The USAID project will also support the South African government to stay at the cutting edge of health technologies, including the synthesis of efficacy and cost data to help ensure the South African government is obtaining new medicines at the right price.