RAFFAELLA’S LITERATURE UPDATE
Be-cause Health & QUAMED literature updates
Faiva et al. Drug supply shortage in Nigeria during COVID‑19: efforts and challenges J of Pharm Policy and Pract (2021) 14:17
Uwizeyimana et al. Drug supply situation in Rwanda during COVID‑19: issues, efforts and challenges J of Pharm Policy and Pract (2021) 14:12
Proper supply of health products is critical for a robust healthcare system, able to ensure access to essential medicines and treatments; but the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in massive disruptions in global supply chains. The Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy Practices recently published two articles that look at COVID-related challenges in pharmaceutical supply, respectively in Nigeria and Rwanda.
According to Faiva and colleagues, about 70% of the medicines supply in Nigeria is imported, creating a huge supply–demand disparity particularly in times like COVID-19. And according to Uwizeymana and colleagues, the Rwandan pharmaceutical sector similarly heavily relies on imports. In Nigeria, medicines scarcity during the COVID-19 pandemic period is caused by “several accumulated factors, majorly as a result of global lockdown, decreased manufacturing, unaddressed regulatory affairs, poor access to resources by the population, lack of buffer stocks, security instability, and poor funding of the healthcare system”. In Rwanda, the main reasons were “limited importation of goods from abroad, and the panic buying practice among the customers and some institutions when responding to the pandemic”.
The parallel findings of these two groups seem to indicate that, even (and more) in COVID19 times, there is a need to secure and strengthen the national procurement and supply systems in all its aspects, e.g. planning and monitoring; financing; regulation of safety, efficacy and quality; price control; distribution channel etc. There is also a suggestion to invest more substantiality in local production as a way to self-sufficiency. However, such long term plans might better be framed into regional collaboration (i.e., “regional” rather than “local” production) and in regulatory straightening.
These are interesting readings for those who want understand more on the impact of the pandemic on pharmaceutical systems. They can also be used as references to advocate for more resources and support to the pharmaceutical systems in LMICs.
Have a nice reading,