Pharmacies in hospitals and clinics in the developing world often have trouble keeping essential medicines in stock. For 25 years, Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) has worked to increase access to medicine for the most vulnerable communities in the world, mainly through the provision of medical relief.
“HPIC’s new project will help medical staff forecast, monitor and distribute their stocks effectively, with the objective of eliminating stock outs and preventing good medicine from expiring before it can be used,” said Alexandra Wilson, HPIC’s Program Manager, PME & Emergency Response.
On June 1, HPIC received the good news from Stronger Together, a funding collective, that a proposal to develop a pharmaceutical inventory management database system has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Stronger Together funding cooperative. Stronger Together is providing $3 for every $1 HPIC raises toward this project.
“This grant is the green light we needed to move forward with this innovative and impactful project,” said Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC. “Pharmaceutical management initiatives are often overlooked in international development. However, projects that work toward strengthening health systems and increasing access to medicines have significant impacts on clinics, pharmacies and the communities they serve. More medicine will reach patients in need. This project will promote better health and development outcomes, ranging from better quality of life and higher life expectancy, to reduced impacts on health systems.”
“Our intent with providing funding for this initiative is to invest into a unique innovation within your organization that produces impact,” said Mark Petersen, Executive Director of the Bridgeway Foundation, one of Stronger Together’s 2015 Partners.
HPIC will be developing the program in close consultation with our partners. We will be hiring a software developer to create a program that would meet the needs of clinics and pharmacies. This program will be easy to use with capacity to be networked or operate on a standalone basis. It will track lot numbers, item numbers and expiry dates of products and will handle three inbound streams: donations, purchases and trades. The program will provide simple alerts on stock outs and products approaching expiration. It will also facilitate standard practices, like physical counts and inventory reconciliations.
Pharmaceutical management was a key component in HPIC’s Capacity Building and Access to Medicine five-year project in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan, funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
“We achieved many of the Afghan project’s anticipated outcomes,” Wilson said, “ranging from improving the quality of pharmaceutical control testing to increasing the number of patients treated. However, one unanticipated outcome was the increased pride and commitment that medical staff showed in their work after the provision of training and tools. The database is much more than a simple computer program. It represents a strengthened health system and dignity for service providers and the work their work.”