In Vietnam, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that approximately 260,000 adults and children were living with HIV/AIDS in 2005. Before the Ministry of Health launched its national AIDS treatment program in 2003, very few people had access to life-extending antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).
With PEPFAR support, the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) project has been working with the government of Vietnam to procure ARVs in support of the national AIDS treatment and care program. In August 2006, SCMS delivered its first shipment of generic ARVs, and in November its first shipment of pediatric ARVs.
The average price for ARVs decreased significantly during 2006, largely because of the availability of generics. Based on the cost savings that SCMS has been able to obtain, an estimated 30 percent more people will be treated within the existing budget over the next year. As Vietnam scales up its treatment and care program to reach additional people, SCMS will continue to support the program by strengthening the existing supply chain through providing technical assistance, procuring and delivering ARVs, and sharing supply chain-related information in order to improve decision-making.
Vietnam also has been selected as one of the first countries for the PEPFAR, World Bank, and Global Fund joint procurement supply chain initiative. SCMS serves as the technical Secretariat of this initiative. The three partners are exploring ways to best coordinate procurement of commodities for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in order to minimize duplication and maximize efficiency.