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Drug supply situation in Rwanda during COVID-19: issues, efforts and challenges

Authors: Theogene Uwizeyimana, Hashim Talib Hashim, Jean Damascene Kabakambira, Jean Claude Mujyarugamba, Jackson Dushime, Blaise Ntacyabukura, Remy Ndayizeye, Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi & Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III


COVID-19 is a threat to health systems around the world and Rwanda is not an exception. The impact of the pandemic is far-reaching and access to health commodities is not spared. Proper drug supply is critical for a robust healthcare system. It determines the extent at which the population are likely to have access to essential medicines and treatments. In Rwanda, the pharmaceutical sector heavily relies on imports. With the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, the drug supply system was interrupted leaving many stores from small local pharmacies to the big medical stores running out of stock. The reasons were limited importation of goods from abroad, and the panic buying practice among the customers and some institutions when responding to the pandemic. Drug and medicines accessibility, availability and affordability should be the core of any drug management policy. It is with no doubt that, Rwanda has made a tremendous work to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on the country’s drug supply; however, efforts are still needed to invest in local pharmaceutical production as a way to minimize import expenses in the country. Good policy on drug importation, production and distribution should be enforced to avoid any drug shortage that may be encountered in the Rwandan drug market.
Link: Drug supply situation in Rwanda during COVID-19: issues, efforts and challenges | Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)