Access to quality assured artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has remained very low in most malaria endemic countries. A number of reasons, including unaffordable prices, have contributed to the low accessibility of these life-saving medicines. The Affordable Medicines Facility-Malaria (AMFm) is a mechanism to increase access to quality assured ACT. The AMFm will use price signals and a combination of public and private sector channels to achieve multiple public health objectives: replacing older and increasingly ineffective anti-malarial medicines, such as chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, with ACT; displacing oral artemisinin monotherapies from the market; and prolonging the lifespan of ACT by reducing the likelihood of resistance to artemisinin. Access to medicines frameworks paint a broad picture of dimensions of access to medicines and juxtapose components that enhance or hinder access to medicines. Access requires various activities – funding, institutions, interventions, and thinking – from public and private actors at global, national, and local levels. This paper examines, within access to medicines frameworks, the role of the AMFm across and within each dimension and discusses how the AMFm can help to solve access bottlenecks.
Malaria Journal (2010) 9: 274 [doi:10.1186/1475-2875-9-274]