Many procurement methods are used by governments and NGOs, including open tender, restricted tender, competitive negotiation, and direct procurement. National TB programmes may use one or a combination of these methods to procure anti-TB drugs. For more information on different procurement methods and selection and location of suppliers, please refer to Managing Drug Supply4. The overall goal is to identify good quality anti-TB drugs at competitive prices from quality assured suppliers. NTPs should strive to be self-sufficient in procuring drugs for their programmes. However, in countries without available resources and experience, it may be advantageous to obtain anti-TB drugs, including FDCs, through global initiatives such as the GDF.
4 Quick JD, Rankin JR, Laing RO, O'Connor RW, Hogerzeil HV, Dukes MNG, Garnett A. (editors) Managing Drug Supply, 2nd ed.West Hartford, Kumarian Press; 1997.
The GDF is an initiative of the Global Partnership to Stop TB. The GDF provides a mechanism for expanding access to high-quality TB drugs to facilitate global DOTS expansion. The advantages of using the GDF include:
• competitive prices;
• procurement is done by others;
• timely deliveries are made to country port of entry;
• ongoing development of packaging, e.g. blisters, to promote patient compliance;
• appropriate linkage exists with the DOTS expansion programmes of WHO Member States and Stop TB partners for the benefit of drug use within the country;
• quality of products is controlled.
The GDF has a grants-in-kind mechanism to fill the gap in TB resources of DOTS countries, and in 2002, the GDF established a direct procurement mechanism. To use this direct procurement mechanism, countries must meet specific criteria that permit the sale of drugs only to those organizations and countries that follow DOTS guidelines and are committed to only using TB drugs procured through the GDF in DOTS patients. To continue purchasing from the GDF, countries must submit routine annual DOTS programme performance reports to WHO5.
5 See the Stop TB website for more information: http://www.stoptb.org/GDF/drugsupply/Direct_procurement_process.html.