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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Regional and temporal trends in malaria commodity costs: an analysis of Global Fund data for 79 countries

Francis Wafula1*, Ambrose Agweyu2 and Kate Macintyre1

Author Affiliations

1 Aidspan, P. O. Box 66869–00800, Nairobi, Kenya

2 KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya

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Malaria Journal 2013, 12:466  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-466

Published: 30 December 2013

Abstract

Background

Although procurement consumes nearly 40% of Global Fund’s money, no analyses have been published to show how costs vary across regions and time. This paper presents an analysis of malaria-related commodity procurement data from 79 countries, as reported through the Global Fund’s price and quality reporting (PQR) system for the 2005–2012 period.

Methods

Data were analysed for the three most widely procured commodities for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria. These were long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and the artemether/lumefantrine (AL) combination treatment. Costs were compared across time (2005–2012), regions, and between individual procurement reported through the PQR and pooled procurement reported through the Global Fund’s voluntary pooled procurement (VPP) system. All costs were adjusted for inflation and reported in US dollars.

Results

The data included 1,514 entries reported from 79 countries over seven years. Of these, 492 entries were for LLINs, 330 for RDTs and 692 for AL. Considerable variations were seen by commodity, although none showed an increase in cost. The costs for LLINs, RDTs and AL all dropped significantly over the period of analysis. Regional variations were also seen, with the cost for all three commodities showing significant variations. The median cost for a single LLIN ranged from USD 4.3 in East Asia to USD 5.0 in West and Central Africa. The cost of a single RDT was lowest in West and Central Africa at US$ 0.57, and highest in the Latin American region at US$ 1.1. AL had the narrowest margin of between US$ 0.06 per tablet in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and US$ 0.08 in the Latin American and Eastern Europe regions.

Conclusion

This paper concludes that global procurement costs do vary by region and have reduced overall over time. This suggests a mature market is operating when viewed from the global level, but regional variation needs further attention. Such analyses should be done more often to identify and correct market insufficiencies.

Keywords:
Global Fund; Malaria commodities; Procurement