Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
COLAUTTI, Marisel et al. Antiretroviral drug supply in Argentina: National Program to Combat Human Retroviruses, AIDS, and STDs. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.1, pp. 62-68. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000100010.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the supply cycle of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, overseen by the National Program to Combat Human Retroviruses, AIDS, and STDs, through its order fulfillment indicators, and to obtain input from supply chain stakeholders. METHODS: A study was carried out from AprilSeptember 2005 in the pharmacies of two hospitals in Rosario, Argentina, involving both a quantitative analysis of indicators and secondary sources and a qualitative evaluation using semistructured interviews. RESULTS: The indicators reveal the impact that interruptions in ARV supply stream from the Program (central level) have and the overstocking that takes place at the pharmacies (local level) to manage the shortages. Changes in ARV treatment account for over 50% of the prescriptions. Fulfillments fall short of the reference value. The interviewees shared possible strategies for overcoming the communication gaps between levels, for building-up stock, for guaranteeing availability, and for shortening waiting times; reached informal agreements to deal with the lack of policies and the shortage of staff; acknowledged the challenges facing the jurisdictions (central, intermediate, and local/community); and recognized local efforts to improve management. CONCLUSIONS: These challenges could be the starting point for building teams to work on effectively decentralizing the entire supply chain and allowing the Program to fulfill its much-needed oversight role.
Keywords : Health management; program evaluation; management indicators; anti-retroviral agents; Argentina.