According to data compiled by the Global Fund, since the introduction of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) programme, the average cost of a course of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in private pharmacies has dropped by about 90% in parts of Kenya and by about 40% to 90% in Ghana, the first two countries to participate in the programme.
In Kenya, before the AMFm, a course of treatment using ACTs cost about $6.00 in the private sector. The Kenyan National Malaria Control Programme said in June 2011 that 80% of the 270 chemists it supervises in Nyanza Province had AMFm co-paid ACTs in stock, and that the average retail price was approximately $0.54.
In Ghana, before the AMFm, a course of treatment cost between $3 and $9 in the private sector. The Ghana National Malaria Control Programme said in June 2011 that 56% of the 808 chemists it had surveyed had AMFm co-paid ACTs in stock, and that the average retail price was approximately $0.99.
The AMFm is a mechanism designed to expand access to ACTs through the private sector by reducing the cost of ACT drugs, and by ensuring that additional activities, such as public information campaigns, are carried out. The AMFm is currently being piloted in eight countries - Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar) and Uganda.
The reduction in costs means that ACTs now cost about the same as older, less effective antimalarial drugs. The older drugs are banned in Kenya, but many people were still buying them because they couldn't afford to pay what ACTs used to cost before they were subsidised by the AMFm.
GFO has written about the AMFm several times; the most recent article is here.