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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

Malaria research in social and economic studies

ACTwatch: evidence for malaria medicines policy.

LSHTM investigators:
Kara Hanson, Catherine Goodman, Benjamin Palafox, Edith Patouillard, Sarah Tougher, Sergio Torres Rueda & Immo Kleinschmidt
External collaborators:
Population Services International.
Funding body:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the ACT Consortium.

The goal of ACTwatch is to provide a complete picture of the antimalarial markets in Benin, Cambodia, DRC, Madagascar, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia to enable policymakers and other actors to design interventions to increase availability and decrease the consumer price of quality assured artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

Along with conducting nationally representative surveys of pharmaceutical outlets and households, ACTwatch also includes a component that investigates the structure and operation of the distribution chain for antimalarials and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria in each country.

Using a number of different data collection methods, including document review, structured surveys of antimalarial wholesalers, and in-depth interviews with a wide range of stakeholders and businesses at all levels of the distribution chain, this study has developed schematic representations of the antimalarial distribution chains; estimated antimalarial availability among wholesalers; investigated regulatory compliance and enforcement in the private sector; estimated retail- and wholesale-level mark-ups for antimalarials and RDTs; investigated factors affecting drug selection, sales volumes and prices; and compared distribution chains within and between each of the 7 ACTwatch countries.

Data collection for the distribution chain component has been completed in all countries, and a number of country-specific reports will begin to be available from late-2011. 

To access these reports, and others from the ACTwatch Outlet and Household Surveys, visit the ACT watch website.