Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
HORST, Myrza M. L. de L. and SOLER, Orenzio. The PAHO Strategic Fund: a mechanism to facilitate access to medicines. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.1, pp. 43-48. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892010000100007.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the medicine procurement activities of the PAHO Strategic Fund. METHOD: This is a retrospective study covering the period from 2004 to 2007, based on a bibliographic and document survey of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) archives in the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Brazil. The volume of resources and the types of drugs procured by the fund were determined for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006 and for the period of January to September 2007. RESULTS: The survey revealed a well-structured fund handling increasing resources, from US$ 3 475 043.00 in 2004 to US$ 19 646 634.00 in 2007 (January to September). The participation of antiretroviral drugs in this expenditure has grown from less than 8% of the total in 2004 to 57.89% in 2007. Still, in 2007, 66.63% of the financial resources managed by the Strategic Fund were allocated to the purchase of antiretroviral drugs for nine countries (Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti, Belize, Nicaragua, and Bolivia) out of a total of 17 participating countries. Brazil was the country using the most resources through the Strategic Fund, accounting for 63% of the expenditure for the purchase of strategic supplies between January and September 2007. CONCLUSION: The proposal to unify the purchase of medications for all participating countries to improve pricing and purchasing management will result in large-scale savings. The Strategic Fund can contribute to increasing access to medicines and improving the management of the public health care system in Latin America.
Keywords : Drugs; essential; technical cooperation; equity in access; Latin America.