Health facilities are required to send information on drug consumption to the supply unit for use in quantifying drug needs. In case of ARVs this may also include patient code, drug combinations and quantities dispensed to each patient. If adequate inventory and requisition records are kept, or where the facilities and patients are few, it is easy to analyse the data and establish useful trends in the use of the drugs. However, when the numbers increase substantially, extracting individual drugs from the return forms becomes a challenge, especially since the individual drugs are distributed separately.
In some situations, data overload may lead to analyses being abandoned, especially in the absence of appropriate computer packages and trained personnel. The introduction of FDCs will make the gathering and analysis of consumption data easier.