Pharmacy supply chain management
Right to Care is one of few local institutions that has acquired expertise in pharmaceutical management. Through our pharmacy support programme, our objective is to use a pharmaceutical system-strengthening approach that results in a sustainable improvement in the delivery of pharmacy services (and thus on patient outcomes).
We provide support at national, provincial, district, and facility levels, in line with National Department of Health (DoH) policies. Programme staff hold key support positions at national and provincial levels and play an important role in the development and implementation of pharmaceutical policy. Our technical assistance and system-strengthening activities take various forms.
We strive to tackle pharmaceutical staffing needs at supported sites through strategic secondments of pharmacy personnel and the training and capacity building of targeted personnel, such as pharmacist assistants and nurses.
We have worked with the DoH to develop a strategic plan for training of pharmacist assistants and we are playing a role in the implementation of this. We managed a learnership programme for pharmacist assistants and supported the registration of prospective tutors and sites with the South African Pharmacy Council.
For NGO partners, we provide technical assistance for medicine supply-chain activities and for compliance with pharmacy practice and regulatory standards. In some provinces, this includes technical assistance at provincial depot level.
In collaboration with other PEPFAR partners, in 2011, we supported the site-level implementation of computerised pharmacy dispensing and information management systems. This includes integration of clinical data systems and pharmacy management systems to streamline pharmacy operations.
We have successfully implemented a supply-chain management strategy for down-referred patients to providers in the private sector.
We provide technical assistance for pharmacovigilance activities that deal with key safety priorities in HIV and TB programme implementation (through participation in the SANAC Treatment Technical Task Team). We supported the development of active cohort safety surveillance systems.
We have facilitated agreements with PEPFAR-supported NGO partners and provincial authorities to enable access to ARVs and related drugs from provincial depots.
In 2011, we participated in the USAID and National DoH ARV Bridging Programme Task Team, which was established to implement the US government ARV donation programme and manage US government ARV procurements to the DoH. Our contribution was technical, regulatory, clinical, and supply chain advice and support.
Right to Care has been supporting the Medicines Control Council for the registration and regulation of medicines and clinical trials where activities include developing regulatory strategies for new drug technologies, fixed dose combination products and biomedical prevention (for example, microbicides) for clinical trials, and the registration of these medicines.