Supply Chain Optimisation in Africa’s Private Sector: Reducing the Price to Patient

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As the African private sector transitions from a niche revenue stream to an area of strategic importance for multinational pharmaceutical companies selling branded medicines, so too does the need to address distribution in the sub-continent. The challenges for refining or building an effective distribution strategy are formidable. Solving this problem will mean lower branded drug prices for patients, higher volume sales, better data and sales visibility and a more profitable and economically sustainable business in Africa.

IMS Health has conducted a study combining IMS intelligence with secondary research and primary interviews with the pharmaceutical industry, international and African organizations. The study explores critical questions that companies are asking in entering or optimizing their presence in Africa: Why is finding the best model strategically important? Where are the major opportunities for creating efficiencies? And what will it take to be successful in this fast-evolving region?

Much of the work in this report builds upon the findings of the last, published in December 2012. If you would like to read that report please follow this link – Alternatively there is a short synopsis of the key messages and analytics in the Appendix.

To understand the future of African pharmaceutical distribution, and Africa as a whole, it is important to first understand the industry’s history and how it affects the present. The beginning of this paper focuses on describing the past and current pharmaceutical distribution environment before it goes on to look at what strategies drugmakers can employ to reduce the price to patient. To gain a full understanding of African distribution the authors of this report would strongly recommend reading the full document, it is however also possible to skip ahead to page 23 – How to optimise monitoring, promotion and dispensing of medicines in the private supply chain.