The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Thursday announced it will "integrate" the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm), implemented in 2010 as a pilot program to provide low-cost artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in poor and rural areas, "into its existing core system of providing grants to countries to purchase drugs, bed nets and other malaria-control measures," Nature News Blog reports (Butler, 11/15). "During a transition period in 2013, the lessons learned from the operations and resourcing of Phase 1 of the AMFm, such as manufacturer negotiations and the co-payment mechanism, will be integrated into core Global Fund processes," a Global Fund press release states.
With the program's integration, "there will no longer be a separate fund with external donor contributions to cover co-payments," and "[c]ountries will be responsible for allocating resources to implement a private sector strategy to expand access to malaria diagnosis and treatment in the private sector from their Global Fund malaria grants," according to the press release. Noting an independent evaluation of AMFm found the pilot program "was successful in increasing availability, decreasing retail prices, and increasing market share of quality-assured ACTs," the press release says the Board reached its decision "after extensive consultations with implementers, technical partners and donors about lessons learned" from the pilot phase (11/15).
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