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[e-drug] Medicines financing in Sudan

E-DRUG: Medicines financing in Sudan
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Dear e-druggers,

Fee payment for medicines has been seen as a key component of the cost-sharing 
strategy. In this form of medicine financing, the supply of medicines can be 
sustained without external funding after first-time capital investment. The 
Revolving Drug Fund of Khartoum State, Sudan (widely known as RDF) provides a 
self-financing medicine supply system, which has remained viable for more than 
twenty years. Today the total number of health facilities operating the RDF is 
156 (134 health centres and twenty-two hospitals). This is in addition to 
eighteen people's pharmacies managed by the programme. During the past three 
years, a total number of around nine million patients were seen with annual 
average of 2,983,316 patients out of around five million Khartoum State 
population. The RDF users used to pay the actual cost of their prescription 
(direct cost) plus the operating costs (the mark-up on cost  up to 38%).  An 
unprecedented development in the RDF took place three days ago, when the Wali 
(Governor) of Khartoum State declared that the patients at RDF health 
facilities should pay only 50% of their prescriptions. Currently, the average 
cost of a prescription at the RDF health facilities is SDG4 (US$2). It is only 
3% of the lowest monthly government salary which is SDG125. It should be also 
mentioned that for the 30% of the population covered by the health insurance, 
only 25% of the prescription cost must be paid. This decree reduces the costs 
of medicines by 50% of its current cost (SDG 4, US$2). In a recent study, 6% of 
patients at RDF health facilities reported that they did not have enough money 
to obtain the prescribed medicines. This will enhance the affordability for 
such poor patients. However, after this new policy the RDF would continue to 
revolve only with a regular injection of balance funds from the government of 
Khartoum state budget. In a personal communication with RDF manager, he assured 
that all necessary arrangements and measures to protect the RDF were discussed 
and agreed up with the Wali himself. The RDF will receive the estimated subsidy 
on a monthly basis.   
 
Yours sincerely 

Gamal Khalafalla Mohamed Ali PhD, MSc, PG Dip. (Health Econ.),  B.Pharm 
(Hon)Mobile +249123039450
Federal Pharmacy and Poisons Board
Secretary General 
P.O. Box 11995
Khartoum
Sudan

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