A Model System for Drug Supply. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 008 (1989)
(1989; 1 page)


In the early 1970s, the National Corporation of Swedish Pharmacies “Apoteksbolaget” was formed. This resource developed into an integral part of the health care system, providing pharmaceutical services to the public, doctors and institutions throughout Sweden. Apoteksbolaget became a successful model for drug supply largely because it has the sole right to retail drugs in Sweden, and covers 80% of the wholesale market through a subsidiary. Its large size enables it to cover the whole chain of drug supply while being economically sound. A model system was created for field testing in a few countries that could later be used as a training guide for other interested countries. The model was designed to be flexible enough to apply in many circumstances. Advantages of using the model would include improved control, easier inclusion of the pharmaceutical service into social security programmes, regular drug supply, and more rational drug logistics. Developing countries using the model could face challenges such as a lack of staff support and the relationship to existing private pharmacies. The article concludes by emphasizing such a successful model has the potential to be effective in countries other than Sweden.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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