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Best practice

Informed Push Model strengthens supply chain for contraceptives

Company:

Merck & Co., Inc.

What:

Model removes the burden of tracking and ordering inventory from pharmacies by using logistics operators to regularly deliver and track supplies to ensure sufficient stock.

Where:

Senegal

Aim:

To improve availability of contraceptives in Senegal.

Context:

Seven years ago, around a third of married women in Senegal who did not want to become pregnant were not using modern contraception.

In 2018, Merck & Co., Inc.’s continued work on the Informed Push Model in Senegal, through its initiative Merck for Mothers, once more represents best practice in supply-chain capacity building. The initiative began in 2013 and was given best practice credit in 2014 and 2016.
Senegal’s government, recognising that contraception is one of the most efficient methods to save the lives of women and children, committed itself to increase access to family planning. Creating improvements in the public health supply chain were central to achieving this goal.

How does this initiative improve the supply of contraceptives?
Merck & Co., Inc. began working in partnership with IntraHealth, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dimagi, and Senegal’s ministry of health and national pharmacy to develop the Informed Push Model with third-party logistics providers (IPM-3PL). Launched in 2013 with a pilot in two health centres, the model is now known as Yeksi Naa (“I have arrived”). Across Senegal, it provides reliable last-mile access to contraceptives and essential medicines. 

The model has strengthened the flow of commodities, data and financial information throughout the public health supply chain. It removes the burden of tracking and ordering inventory from pharmacies and clinics, using trained logistics operators to deliver supplies on a regular schedule and collect data to ensure each site has sufficient stock. Now scaled up, Yeksi Naa delivers around 90 essential commodities to Senegal’s public health facilities, including contraceptives and medicines for HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

What makes this a best practice?
As well as expanding the range, Merck & Co., Inc. and partners created a robust roadmap to enable the Senegalese government to take over management, a transition completed at the end of 2017. Merck for Mothers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have now joined with the Global Financing Facility and the UPS Foundation to create a new public-private partnership. They aim to build on the Informed Push Model to help countries similar to Senegal to improve public access to essential medicines and health commodities.

The initiative meets all good practice standards measured by the Index, and it has even included an evaluation of impact. It commissioned the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to conduct the evaluation with data collected since 2013; this was published in October 2017 and is publicly available. The model reaches every standard for best practice in a supply-chain intervention: established, scalable, sustainable, and able to show evidence of impact.


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