Geneva Health Forum Archive

Browse and download abstracts, posters, documents and videos from past editions of the GHF

The Asthma Drug Facility: A Practical Solution for one of the Major Non-Communicable Diseases

Author(s): Cecile Mace1, Nils Billo1, Christophe Perrin1
Affiliation(s): 1The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Pantin, France
1st country of focus: Not applicable
Additional countries of focus: Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Relevant to the conference theme: Non-communicable chronic diseases
Summary (max 100 words): The Asthma Drug Facility, a project of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) is one of the practical solutions to support low- and middle-income countries to offer standardised asthma management to patients using essential medicines. However, the ADF services have only been used by a very limited number of countries. Having a procurement system in place for asthma medicines at global level is only part of the solution to improve asthma management in low- and middle-income countries. To change the situation, countries also need the political will to invest in asthma management and funds to support all important activities.
Background (max 200 words): The Union established the Asthma Drug Facility (ADF) to provide affordable access to quality-assured, essential asthma medicines for low- and middle-income countries and to promote a quality improvement package for the diagnosis, treatment and management of asthma.
Objectives (max 100 words): This presentation will help participants to understand the ADF procurement system and services and how it will help to overcome one of the major barriers to asthma management in low- and middle-income countries: the lack of access to inhaled corticosteroids. It will also look at the additional barriers for countries to improve asthma management.
Methodology (max 400 words): The ADF is now fully operational since 2009 and has performed two rounds of qualification followed by restricted tenders to establish contracts with manufacturers. Countries, organisations and programmes can now use the ADF services to implement asthma programmes or integrated approaches to respiratory health.
Results (max 400 words): The ADF has already supplied essential asthma medicines to Benin, El Salvador, Kenya, Sudan, Burundi and Vietnam. New orders are also in progress for Guinea Conakry and Burkina Faso and new contacts have also started with other countries. Through the ADF, these countries have seen the cost of inhalers fall by as much as 50%, making one year of treatment with Beclometasone and Salbutamol for a patient with severe asthma cost less than 40 USD. However, the ADF services have only been used by a very limited number of countries. Millions of people with asthma in low- and middle-income countries currently have no treatment, or inappropriate treatment.
Conclusion (max 400 words): Having a procurement system in place for asthma medicines at global level is only part of the solution to improve asthma management in low- and middle-income countries. To change the situation countries need also political will to invest in asthma management and funds to support their activities. The financing options used by the first ADF clients can be an incentive for other countries to move forward to implement asthma management. It is also hoped that further actions following the High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases in September 2011 will recognise and promote practical solutions such as the ADF.

Leave a Reply