Essential medicines and health products

First EC/ACP/WHO Partnership on Pharmaceutical Policies

A case study: the United Republic of Tanzania

A pharmacy in an African clinic

The United Republic of Tanzania is one of the countries that has benefited most from the Partnership, with over 30 measurable achievements in the first four years. The results of this work have been considerable:

  • Zanzibar approved a National Medicines Policy and corresponding implementation plan in 2008, while Tanzania Mainland has developed a its Policy and Implementation Plan in 2009.
  • National patent law has been updated to allow the use of TRIPS flexibilities, ensuring that trade agreements better protect population health.
  • The Eastern Africa Community, including the United Republic of Tanzania, has reduced duties and taxes on medicines by 10 percent, thanks to the influence of completed pricing surveys and follow-up advocacy work carried out by the Partnership. the United Republic of Tanzania has also started regular monitoring of medicines prices in the public and private sector. A study on medicines coverage in health insurance programs was completed in 2008 in line with the objectives of Renewed Primary Health Care.
  • An in-depth assessment of the procurement and supply system was carried out in 2007 and training in drugs management has been provided in both Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland. Partnership support has allowed the country to map out the medicines supply chain in order to sensitize partners and improve collaboration.
  • The United Republic of Tanzania has strengthened its capacity for implementing a sector-wide strategy on pharmaceutical workforce, through successful data collection on human resources for the pharmaceutical sector. In the meantime, the Partnership has supported development of key personnel through on-site training and participation in overseas conferences.
  • Medicines regulation has expanded significantly with the approval of the Zanzibar Drug Act of 2006, and the development and dissemination of guidelines for good manufacturing practices, donations, disposal, inspections, importers, registration of pharmacy and pharmacy practice. The Tanzania Food and Drug Administration has received Partnership support for the training of personnel and the development of SOPs for several areas of drug regulation.
  • Rational use of medicines has been promoted with the revision and dissemination of the Essential Medicines List and Standard Treatment Guidelines for Mainland Tanzania in 2007. The STGs for Zanzibar were revised in 2009.
  • Finally, the Eastern Africa Community is establishing a pooled procurement scheme that will lead to significant savings. A feasibility study has been submitted to member states for approval. Efforts to harmonize the medicines legislation of EAC countries and finalize the protocol for an East African Medicines and Food Safety Commission (EAMFSC) are currently under way.

Some Documents produced with the support of the Partnership