Partners in Crime: National Theft of Global Fund Medicines
Africa Fighting Malaria Briefing Paper
11 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2013
Date Written: April 20, 2011
Millions of dollars of donated antimalarial drugs have been stolen, most often by staff of recipient government medical stores; this strengthens criminal gangs and undermines donor intent. The main culprit donor is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which worryingly is pushing ahead with further schemes that have the same inherent weaknesses, which may worsen the theft problem. Sweden and Germany have already suspended funding to the Global Fund due to financial irregularities, but it is time for a thorough investigation of drug theft - to ensure that drugs are being used by those intended, rather than encouraging illegal parallel distribution systems, in both recipient nations and nations where products are diverted. It is likely that the entire incentive system needs to change, so that donors only receive future taxpayer funds when they can show that the drugs they buy actually reach intended patients in developing nations, not just reach their governments’ medical stores.
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