This short introductory course offers basic concepts and exercises on the quantification of medicines and health products.
This is a free and open online course without facilitation.

This course provides an introduction to HIV/AIDS and how it is managed using antiretroviral therapy. It offers general information about the disease itself, its prevalence, mode of transmission and etiology, and the common therapy and treatment. Special focus is given to the challenges in access and availability of ARV medicines in low and middle income countries.

This course will equip participants with a basic understanding of the disease malaria, its diagnosis and treatment. It is primarily designed for people who do not come from a health background and who are new to this field. The course has been developed internally by i+solutions based on years of experience in procurement of antimalarials under Global Fund grants.

This is a open online course without facilitation. Once you have completed all activities (100%), you will be awarded an e-badge certifying successful course completion.

In 2017, over 20 students will be able to follow an i+academy course free of charge with the i+scholarship. Applications for 2018 will open in November 2017.

Many of the challenges related to healthcare quality and stock out situations are consequences of poor warehouse management of pharmaceuticals and medical laboratory supplies. The proper warehousing of health commodities is an essential component of the supply chain management system required to maintain the integrity of these health supplies and prevent stock out at any given time.

This course is designed to introduce you to good warehousing practices for pharmaceuticals and medical laboratory supplies and its application within the health system. We will look at warehouse operations in details covering the receipt, storage and dispatch of essential health commodities.
Many of the issues of healthcare quality and safety are consequences of poor management of pharmaceuticals. Globally it is estimated that an average 25% of the total health expenditure is on medicines, with poorer countries spending as much as 30%. Knowledge of the full supply chain cycle of pharmaceuticals and practical skills to enhance its performance are important, not only for managers in leadership positions but for all health workers. Supply chain management activities are fundamental to any health programme's performance and all personnel involved, whether it's an inventory manager in a warehouse, a doctor in a health facility or a procurement officer at the central medical store, must have a good understanding of the basic principles of managing health commodities.

This course is designed to introduce you to the basic concepts of supply chain management with specific focus on pharmaceuticals and health commodities in a developing country context. Whilst covering a broad range of topics, the course delivery will emphasize the importance of integrating supply chain activities for overall health system strengthening.
Course programme

There are many challenges ensuing from the increasing number of stakeholders in the health sector of developing countries. Different stakeholders often have different funding mechanisms and reporting requirements, which makes quantification of essential medicines and medical supplies more complicated. The course addresses the challenges faced during the forecasting and quantification of essential medicines, including HIV/AIDS medicines, antimalarials and TB medicines. It aims at building up the participants’ capacity to master the forecasting and quantification tasks and to decide for the appropriate procurement planning process based on a profound analysis of the data.

Laboratory services are essential for successful management many diseases. The management of diseases requires availability of quality laboratory services that meet the need for diagnosis, monitoring and evaluation of treatment efficacy. To achieve this, a reliable and sustainable supply of essential laboratory supplies is required. The aim of the course is to apply the principles of supply chain management to the management of laboratory commodities in low and middle income countries.

The course “Procurement of Medicines and Medical Supplies” covers every area of the procurement process with a special focus on procuring essential health commodities. To understand how medicines procurement differs from procurement of other goods, one needs to consider the key characteristics of medicines and health commodities in general (such as international non-proprietary name, storage conditions, shelf life, packaging, quality standards, regulatory requirements, psychotropics/narcotics and patents).

Procurement plays a critical role in ensuring the availability of essential quality-assured medicines at all times at an affordable price for the people that need them.

Often international donor organizations and governmental organizations are involved in funding medical programs, resulting in the need of professionally run procurement processes. This course pays special attention to meeting the most common donor requirements and public procurement regulations.

The course guides the student through all steps of the procurement process, such as supplier selection, how to select the best value offer, contracting, quality assurance, measuring supplier performance and much more.

The objective of the course is to provide students solid knowledge about and a good understanding of the procurement process that will help them implement and/or professionalize procurement processes.

The procurement course is suitable for procurement/purchase officers, logistic officers, health officers and professionals with a responsibility in procurement, members of tender committees, pharmacists, program managers and supply chain managers in the public and private sector.

Ensuring the quality of medicines is a major public health concern. The emergence of substandard and counterfeit medicines, coupled with inefficient supply chain systems, not only poses a risk of negative health outcomes but also leads to economic losses and lack of trust in the health system. To address these issues and develop evidence-based strategies, it is important that people at all levels, from policy makers to primary healthcare workers appreciate and comprehend the need for effective QA systems.

This course was offered on two levels. The introductory part introduced you to the concepts and main principles of quality assurance. The advanced course is intended for those of you who are interested in developing further skills and knowledge in different aspects of quality assurance such as pharmaceutical regulation, pharmacovigilance and quality control of medicines.

Supply chain management (SCM) is a key to ensure that resources are utilized optimally and reach their end-users. Developing countries spend up to a third of their healthcare budget on pharmaceuticals. SCM skills in managers and health workers alike are paramount to enhance the performance of the supply chain cycle of medicines and medical supplies and ensure the success of health programmes.

The course 'Introduction to Supply Chain Management in Healthcare' details all the steps and functions of the supply chain cycle and places each of these topics within the framework of health system strengthening. As such, it is an important tool for anyone seeking to build up the supply chain management capacity of their organisation.The course content has been developed by i+solutions experts based on years of experience as a pharmaceutical supply chain agent for various national and international organisations.

There is currently a strong momentum for the strengthening of the local pharmaceutical sector in developing and emerging markets. Regional and national strategies to promote local pharmaceutical production in line with international standards are being developed. Besides 'modern' or 'western' medicines, this also includes herbal and traditional medicines - in line with their increasing popularity and market shares worldwide.

While the rationale for local production is simple - including factors such as independence from donor programmes which may not run forever, more steady supply chains, and greater control to local regulators - there is still a long way to go and markets are tough... Local companies, especially in low and middle income countries, often face substantial hurdles.

One of the big challenges is the lack of a qualified human resources base in the manufacturing sector of medicines and other healthcare products. In particular, there is need for skilled personnel for quality units (quality assurance, quality control) and other GMP relevant areas. Costs for bringing in experts from abroad are high. Combined with other challenges, local manufacturers often struggle to compete and even survive. Not being in line with international quality standards, they are prevented from passing WHO prequalification, participating in international tenders, and entering international markets.

Moreover, the national medicines regulatory agencies (NMRAs) of these countries experience a shortage too of qualified staff in GMP, GMP inspection and dossier evaluation. This creates difficulties for the NMRAs to enforce internationally acceptable regulatory requirements (including GMP standards) thereby preventing the availability of affordable quality generics for the majority of their low income population groups.

Traditional and herbal medicines have great potential and can enrich the modern medical landscape – given that they are safe, effective and quality-assured. Despite the requirement to follow GMP standards for production of traditional and herbal medicines, not all actively producing manufacturers, especially in developing countries, comply with international GMP standards - with potential serious consequences for the health of consumers.

This e-learning course introduces Good Manufacturing Practices for medicines and healthcare products, including herbal and traditional medicines. The course focuses on WHO GMP standards and requirements as one of the major GMPs. Course participants will learn about GMP requirements, including procedural, organizational and infrastructural aspects, as well as about the GMP inspection process. They will be able to critically analyse and implement basic GMP requirements in their daily working routine in the manufacturing and regulatory environment. The participants will practice course contents in quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums. While the main focus is on medicines, an extra session of the course introduces the requirements for healthcare products, specifically for female condoms.

In the end, these capacity building measures in the area of GMP and GMP inspection will make participants from local manufacturers and national regulatory authorities better equipped for production and regulation of quality assured essential medicines and healthcare products, in line with national and international standards.

Course programme

A lack of qualified human resource base in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector is one of the challenges for pharmaceutical industries, especially in developing and emerging countries. Local manufacturers often struggle to compete and even survive. Not being in line with international quality standards, they are prevented from passing WHO pre-qualification, participating in international tenders and entering international markets.The national medicines regulatory agencies (NMRAs) of these countries are also often short of qualified staff, especially with regard to qualification in GMP, GMP inspection and dossier evaluation.

This e-learning course provides an introduction to the basic principles of GMP and GMP inspection, focusing on WHO GMP standards and requirements as one of the major GMPs. Course participants will develop an understanding about the importance of implementing GMP in their daily working routine, starting from personnel hygiene to quality documentation and many other GMP requirements. In the end, these capacity building measures in the area of GMP and GMP inspection will make the local pharmaceutical sector, including the NMRAs, better equipped for local production and regulation of quality assured essential medicines.

Il existe de nombreux enjeux découlant du nombre croissant des acteurs dans le secteur de la santé des pays en voie de développement. Divers acteurs ont souvent différent mécanismes de financement et conditions de rapport, ce qui complique davantage la quantification des médicaments essentiels et des fournitures médicales. Le cours répond aux défis rencontrés lors de la prévisions et la quantification des médicaments essentiels, y compris les médicaments anti-VIH/SIDA, antipaludéens et antituberculeux. Il vise à renforcer les capacités des participants à maîtriser les tâches de prévision et quantification et à décider du processus de planification d’approvisionnement approprié en se basant sur une analyse approfondie des données.

Course programme

In the health sector, there is a growing interest in the development and use of indicators as tools for monitoring the quality and performance of the supply chain management of medicines and medical supplies. The use of these tools can assist countries in monitoring progress in program implementation, evaluate performance objectively and revise strategies on the basis of systematic assessment. Improved M&E can contribute significantly towards better planning and management of the supply chain in order to promote efficient and sustainable access to medicines.

The course is designed for experienced professionals involved in SCM. They will learn how to systematically use these indicators to monitor the progress, evaluate the performance and improve the program. Donor agencies, project leaders, and technical and implementing agencies will also benefit from using these tools to harmonize information demands and compare programs across different countries.