In both developed and developing countries, pharmaceutical management is a critical issue due to escalating health care costs and increased pressure to improve access to services. The past few decades have seen the role of pharmacy staff expanding. For example, in many resource limited settings burdened by HIV, the complexity of HIV-related medication, the increased life span of HIV-positive patients that comes with antiretrovirals, and the comorbidity of HIV/AIDS with other diseases has broadened the role of the pharmacist in ensuring proper counseling, monitoring, and adherence and preventing the development of HIV drug resistance.
Access to pharmaceutical drugs for the average consumer remains a challenge in the developing world. An example of innovation for pharmacy services is the ROWA automated dispensing system (ADS), which includes a mechanical arm, an ATM-like dispensing unit (called a Pharmacy Dispensing Unit (PDU)) and an accompanying computer system that allows pharmacies to store, count, and dispense medications automatically or with minimal human involvement. In October of 2012, RTC implemented a pilot project that installed the first ever ADS in a public health care facility in South Africa at the Themba Lethu Clinic. Based on evidence available from other settings, it is expected that introduction of the ADS in these facilities may improve pharmacy stock control and allow for extended pharmacist-client interactions.
The overall aim of this study is to evaluate the introduction of the ADS as a mechanism for improving pharmacy services in a developing country setting plagued by a high burden of chronic disease, including HIV.
The following publications emanate from this project:
In 2014, the National Department of Health (NDOH) drafted a strategy to improve adherence to chronic disease medication in South Africa. The strategy includes adherence to HIV, TB, non-communicable disease, and mental health medications. Before the strategy can be adopted, estimates of its overall resource requirements and cost to the national budget are needed. It is also important to estimate the cost of each intervention included in the strategy, so that interventions can be prioritized if insufficient resources are available to implement the entire strategy. In October 2014, the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) was asked to make these cost estimates. This report contains the preliminary results of our cost analysis, for review and comment by NDOH and other stakeholders. It will be finalized once feedback has been received and incorporated into the analysis and report. This report is based on the 1 December 2014 draft of the adherence guide. The adherence guide contains a stepwise approach to supporting linkage to care, retention in care and adherence to treatment through the continuum of care based on a detailed outline of evidence based models and interventions that support linkage to care, adherence and retention in care. In the implementation plan facilities are provided with a minimum package of interventions to support linkage to care, adherence and retention in care with further optional interventions. The cost estimates provided in this document focus on the minimum package of interventions.
HE2RO staff involvedLawrence Long Naomi Lince-Deroche
Receive newsletters and keep up to date with developments at HE2RO.