April 2012 in Review        
In the spotlight
LAC Forum's fund announces winners

Building on the success of the Coalition’s Innovation Fund, the LAC Forum established its own Fund this year to assist partners from across the Latin America and Caribbean Region to further the strategic goals of their respective Working Groups. This month, the first recipients of the newly-established "FondoLAC" were announced, which include:

  • Population Action International (with APROFAM Guatemala) to develop an advocacy video to strengthen political and financial commitments on commodity security in the region. Contact: Mercedes Mas de Xaxas.
  • Reprolatina (with Brazil’s Ministry of Health and UNFPA Brazil) to increase contraceptive access for young people through rights-based demand generation. Contact: Juan Diaz.
  • INSAD (with Mexico’s Health Secretariat and UNFPA) to undertake research to inform the development of a regional family planning advocacy tool. Contact: Ricardo Vernon.
  • PRISMA (with PASMO and PROSALUD Bolivia) to identify factors influencing reproductive health commodity supply in the region. Contact: Carlos Gutierrez.
  • The Catalan Foundation of Pharmacology (with PRISMA and UNFPA) to strengthen capacities to select and evaluate essential medicines for reproductive health. Contact: Albert Figueras.

The Coalition and LAC Forum congratulate the recipients of these awards and thank UNFPA/LAC and USAID for the financial support that made them possible. For more information on the FondoLAC please contact Gloria Castany at the Coalition Secretariat.

Coalition on the scene
LAPTOP course-finder continues to attract notice

Just two months on from its launch, LAPTOP is attracting the highest number of hits on the Coalition’s website. This searchable database of supply chain training opportunities cornered 20% of the website’s unique pageviews in the month of April. LAPTOP - Learning and Professional Training Opportunities - was also flagged up in the journal Africa Health as a “comprehensive database … including classroom-based courses and workshops, distance learning programmes and degree programmes”. As its original Innovation Fund support comes to an end, LAPTOP will now be managed by the Coalition, People That Deliver and The International Association of Public Health Logisticians (IAPHL). 

Financial Times reproductive health supplement: call for support
Since last month’s announcement of the Financial Times of London (FT) supplement on reproductive health and contraception, the project has received significant support. However, financial targets have still not been met. The supplement will present our issues and our work to 40% of all influential individuals in European politics or government and will be produced by the paper’s health editorial team ahead of the July 2012 Family Planning Summit in London. This is a rare opportunity to highlight your work and issues, but insufficient support could jeopardize the effort. Please contact Florian Eisele with the Coalition Secretariat to submit story ideas or purchase commercial space.                                  
Pledge Guarantee for Health instrumental in Ethiopia’s Resolve Award

Ethiopia has been chosen to receive the Aspen Institute’s highly competitive Resolve Award for progress made by governments towards increasing universal access to reproductive health. The award took into account the Pledge Guarantee for Health and its role in leveraging a US$12 million deal to accelerate delivery of more than 600,000 contraceptive implants to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. 

Product registration discussed at Meeting on Hormonal Contraceptives

Product registration emerged as a critical issue at this month’s Meeting on Hormonal Contraceptives and Other Essential Medicines, which took place in New York, 16-18 April. Hosted by UNFPA and the Concept Foundation, the meeting was part of the Quality Reproductive Health Medicines (QuRHM) Programme - a three-year initiative funded by DFID under the auspices of the Coalition. The programme encourages and assists generic manufacturers to pre-qualify products through WHO/UNFPA; promotes adherence to prequalification and other internationally agreed quality criteria; and raises global awareness of quality issues.

During the three-day event, participants discussed a wide range of topics, including the challenges of complying with new product registration requirements at country level. These requirements affect manufacturers, procurers, and even large international donors who formerly received waivers for their donations. There was also lively and productive discussion on the challenges and opportunities surrounding the WHO prequalification system, including the newly-established Expert Review Panel (ERP) for Reproductive Health Medicines which would enable manufacturers who have not yet received WHO prequalification to be evaluated as “low risk” and therefore be considered for time limited procurement.
Detailed outcomes of the meeting had not been released at the time of publishing this newsletter, but will be disseminated once available.


AccessRH Catalogue updated - more products available soon from AccessRH inventory

This month, the Coalition homepage began highlighting AccessRH. It also showcases their newly-revised Catalogue that provides access to reproductive health kits and hundreds of pharmaceutical products and medical equipment. The catalogue has grown from 23 to 470 pages, reflecting the vast increase in items available to its clients. A range of anatomical models and revised hormonal contraceptive prices is due soon. AccessRH will offer oral contraceptive pills Microgynon and Microlut from inventory by June. This is expected to decrease lead times significantly. For more information contact Campbell Bright.

Female Condom

Several female condom-related developments have taken place this month.

  • In the months since DFID announced its increase in funding for procurement of the female condom (FC), the Coalition has assembled a small stakeholder group of donors, procurers, and manufacturers.  Analogous to the stakeholder group that contributed to reductions in the price of implants, the FC group serves as a forum for exchanging information and identifying strategies to increase access to affordable FC.  Indeed, earlier this year, the information generated from within the group helped UNFPA negotiate a reduction in the price of the Female Health Company’s FC2 Condoms®.  This month, the group invited Universal Access to the Female Condom (UAFC) to take the lead in moving discussions forward, with the Coalition continuing to serve as the neutral convening body. For more information on the stakeholder group, contact Marie Christine Siemerink, Programme Coordinator of the UAFC.
  • The Female Health Company (FHC) has announced plans to boost its current annual capacity of 85 million FC2 Condoms® to 100 million by opening two new production lines at its manufacturing facility in Malaysia.
  • The UNFPA-coordinated report Female Condom Generic Specification, Prequalifications and Guidelines for Procurement, 2012 will be published on the agency’s website shortly. Jointly produced by UNFPA, WHO, UNAIDS and FHI360, it is aimed at procurement officers and policy-makers.
PREGNA becomes newest HANDtoHAND partner

The Coalition welcomes PREGNA International Ltd. as its latest HANDtoHAND partner. The UNFPA-prequalified manufacturer of intrauterine contraceptives joins 27 others by becoming the latest partner of the Coalition-led campaign. In its pledge to the campaign, PREGNA has committed to a timely supply of affordable IUDs, innovation, safety, convenience for providers and users as well as investment in IEC programmes to encourage family planning.

Pfizer on board as new Coalition Member
Pfizer, Inc. has joined the Coalition as its 179th member. The pharmaceutical company, operating in 180 countries, is well known as the manufacturer of Depo-Provera®, the most widely used three-month injectable. Pfizer is also the manufacturer of depo-subQ provera 104™, a subcutaneous formulation of DMPA currently available in a pre-filled glass syringe, and soon to be available in the easy-to-use Uniject injection system.
Coalition welcomes new Executive Committee members
We extend a very warm welcome to our two new Executive Committee members Monica Kerrigan and David Smith. Monica Kerrigan is the Deputy Director and Strategic Program Lead for Family Planning/Reproductive Health in the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. David Smith is the General Manager of ICON, an International Planned Parenthood subsidiary. As head of the Systems Strengthening Working Group until 2011, David is a familiar face for the Coalition. We welcome him back on board.
Hannah Pandian joins Secretariat as new Communications Officer

This month, the Secretariat welcomed Hannah Pandian as its new Communications Officer in their Brussels office. She brings with her years of news journalism experience as well as a background in sexual and reproductive health communications work at the International Planned Parenthood Federation in London. She has reported from Capitol Hill, Chicago, Singapore and London, and has Master degrees from Warwick University, UK, and Northwestern University, USA.  Send your contributions for SupplyInsider to Hannah at hpandian@rhsupplies.org

Coalition welcomes new members

The Coalition welcomed 10 new members in April, bringing the current membership to 191.

Highlights from the Working Groups
Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)

Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive health supplies (CARhs) gets results

In April, CARhs – a group of key commodity suppliers working on short-term supply crises – addressed 14 supply chain management issues in 7 countries. Successful results include new shipments of Jadelle® to Ghana and Togo, and improved supply forecasting as a result of communication between UNFPA / USAID and their two Mali offices. Contact Joe Abraham for more information. 

Resource Mobilization and Advocacy Working Group (RMAWG)

Task-sharing guidelines in the pipeline

The RMAWG has continued work on the production of comprehensive family planning task-sharing. An RMA team attended a three-day technical consultation on Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) task-sharing at the World Health Organization. The team has decided on a dedicated family planning task-sharing meeting in the last week of June. For more information, contact Lou Compernolle at the Secretariat.

Contraceptive Security in Francophone Africa (SECONAF)

Training on how to impact national health policies

This June, 18 participants from six Francophone African countries will learn how to use a powerful advocacy tool. The innovative session organized by the Coalition and Advance Family Planning (AFP) will use the Spitfire® Advocacy Decision-making Tool developed by AFP. Participants will learn how to advance critical national policies alongside participants from three health ministries. The group will also try out other advocacy tools developed by Futures Group International.

Upcoming events

22-23 MaySystems Strengthening Working Group meeting, JSI, Washington, DC
4-5 JuneMarket Development Approaches Working Group meeting, Menlo Park, California
26-27 JuneResource Mobilization and Awareness Working Group meeting, Brussels
28-29 JuneFrancophone Forum (SECONAF) Advocacy Group training, Brussels
11 JulyFamily Planning Summit 2012, London
4-5 OctCoalition Annual Membership Meeting, Paris

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