This study, led by the Medicines for Malaria Venture in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Uganda, HEPS and WHO, was conducted in 9 districts of rural Uganda in 2007. It investigated the following aspects of the market: types of anti-malarial medicine available to the public on the market, availability of product by outlet type, range of prices, affordability, supply-chain structure, and price mark-ups. Replacing older classes of drugs with ACTs (artemisinin combination therapies) is critical to ensure appropriate treatment of malaria, a disease that has grown resistant to a number of drugs, such as chloroquine (CQ) and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). However, the study indicated that switching to ACTs potentially leaves a gap in access to effective treatment, as many people continue to buy CQ and SP from private sector outlets that do not sell ACTs. Antimalarials were found to be unaffordable to a significant proportion of the population in the 9 study districts. If products are not available in the public sector, people have to turn to the private sector and are faced with the hard choice of spending their little disposable income on either basic needs like food and education or the treatment of malaria. Through a comprehensive survey, this study presents a better understanding of the antimalarial market. It provides an evidence base for policy makers in Uganda and internationally to guide initiatives to replace older, ineffective medicines with high quality ACTs – contributing to tackling a major, unacceptable health problem in Africa. As well as the report itself, the study protocol and the survey instrument (the form used for data collection) are also appended to this record. [See also the subsequent report 'Supply chain and price components of antimalarial medicines: Uganda 2007'].
Auton, M.; Coghlan, R.; Maija, A.; Banerji, J.; Medicines For Malaria Venture. Understanding the antimalarials market: Uganda 2007 – An overview of the supply side. Medicines for Malaria Venture, Geneva, Switzerland (2008) 62 pp.