For quality monitoring of medicines procurement and access to treatment, it is very important to pay attention to what is happening beyond the spreadsheets with figures.
Sergey Golovin from ITCPru announced this at the panel session “Community role in monitoring procurement and quality of ART”, held within the #Partnership Forum.
“Monitoring does not take place in a vacuum”, Sergey Golovin noted. “It is important to understand that it is not necessary to consider the procurement of medicines separately from the provision of the drugs themselves. Monitoring is good because it is directly related to action, and the importance of an immediate switching from monitoring to advocacy through already established channels cannot be underestimated. Monitoring in itself can be interesting only from a scientific point of view, such a report can be more interesting to pharmaceutical companies, they are happy to use the data of such monitoring to study some of their interests and trends”.
Sergey Golovin, Head of Monitoring Department, ITPCru, Patient Control Activist
Community monitoring of the availability of antiretroviral drugs in the Russian Federation has been carried out for 8 years already, and its methodology allows it to be applied in other areas of advocacy. He told about how procurement monitoring works on the example of Russia and the role of the community in such an analysis.
“The problem of supply interruptions forced us to start monitoring of the medicines procurement”, Sergey Golovin recalls. “It was quite a specific, tangible problem: patients did not receive pills. At one time in Russia it was easy to carry out monitoring: you take 48 biddings, make a spreadsheet, analyze, look at prices, everything is fine. This produces a document which you can present and discuss with the competent authorities. But now the procurement monitoring system is very difficult and needs strong motivation. After all, now there are not 48 biddings, but more than 4 thousand! And there must be a conscious choice, whether you do it or not. We carried, and our experience showed that the continuity, consistency and depth of monitoring yields a result”.
Activists decided not to abandon the work on the analysis of procurement and supply interruptions, but they simplified and improved the mechanism for obtaining information that proved to be efficient and can be used in other areas of advocacy activities.
“The experience of ART monitoring in Russia, which began in 2010, can be transposed to anything, to whatever type of procurement”, Sergey Golovin notes. “In 2011, viral hepatitis medicines were added to ART monitoring, in 2013 we introduced TB monitoring, in 2014 we realized that we could even monitor prevention goods, why not? After all, if there is a pre-established methodology, we can apply it anywhere”.