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Differing Opinions About AMFm 'Unlikely To Be Resolved' After Global Fund Decision On Program's Future

In her “Global Health Blog,” Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley examines the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm), “which aims to enable countries to increase the provision of affordable artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) through not only the public sector but also the private sector and [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)].” Following pilot projects in seven African countries and an independent evaluation by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which hosts AMFm, is set to decide the future of the scheme at a board meeting in November. She notes Oxfam recently released a report criticizing the mechanism, saying the evaluation was flawed because it looked at the number of ACTs sold and not lives saved.

Boseley continues, “It’s an issue that is provoking huge arguments and intense passions, because it is not just about what goes on the shelves of rural drug stores. It is about the belief on one side that the private sector is the most effective way to get medicines to those who need them — and the certainty on the other side that bolstering the public sector to diagnose and treat people is a fairer and safer way to go.” She adds, “These are not just practical matters, but highly political,” concluding, “Whatever the Global Fund board decides next month, this fundamental clash of views is unlikely to be resolved” (10/24).