Complementing MSD supply with a Prime Vendor initiative

Complementing MSD Supply with a Prime Vendor System


It has become evident that alternative strategies to improve availability to medicines in the HF of Dodoma region are needed. The supply gap of approximately 40% needs to be filled by other means as efficiency of MSD cannot be influenced by the HPSS project in a significant way. While MSD will remain the backbone for medicines supply to the public sector, Dodoma region together with the HPSS project decided to tackle the problem of out of stocks of medicines with a PPP approach.

  • Complementary supply chain 1
The supply gap will be complemented by medicines from other sources financed with complementary funds. Health facilities and districts have funds available that are earmarked for the purchase of supplementary medicines. These medicines will be paid from regular sources of complementary funds available such as CHF, NHIF, user fees and basket funds. So far, purchase of supplementary medicines has, however, been very fragmented and uncoordinated and has not taken advantage of economies of scale.

A concept for possible scenarios with a Prime Vendor (PV) was discussed and endorsed by the districts. The PV concept comprises an approach that could alleviate supply availability problems by implementing a complementary supply system, involving the private sector. The new regional Prime Vendor (PV) system is a unique public private partnership (PPP) with the objective to supplement medicines supplies of Medical Stores Department (MSD) with supplies from a single vendor in a pooled regional approach.

After a comprehensive and transparent prequalification and procurement process by the regional authorities, a supplier was selected based on Applicable Procurement Regulations. During an official launch on  September 2014 graced by with the guest of honor the deputy Minister of Health and the Swiss Ambassador, the 1st contract between the regional authorities of Dodoma and the selected Prime Vendor was signed.

  • Complementary supply chain 2
This has been the starting point for the implementation of a system that is expected to fill the gap in medicines availability, in collaboration and partnership with MSD as the main supplier of medicines to public health facilities. The region will also closely collaborate with TFDA, the Pharmacy Council and the Pharmaceutical Services Section of the MoHCDGEC.

A comprehensive and user friendly handbook with Standard Operating Procedures for health facilities and districts was developed to operationalize the PV system. All actors have been called upon to adhere to the operational principles and purchase supplementary medicines from their regional PV.

Next to reducing stock outs of medicines, good clinical practice including correct prescribing and use of medicines based on the national Standard Treatment Guidelines will be a prerequisite for better health outcomes. Providing more medicines in the supply system may increase the opportunity for leakage and misappropriation. Therefore; RHMT and CHMT should conduct regular  supportive supervision and auditing to improve medicine accountability.


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