Virtual warehouse of medicines for children
UNICEF. Contact person: Atieno Ojoo, tel. 220.127.116.11, email; email@example.com, skype; atismmo
Best way and times to contact during RHoK 2.0 Dec 4/5 2010. Telephone. Alternate; Dmitri Davydov Cell phone
Global Visibility of Sources, location and indicative prices of Medicines specific for Children is needed A virtual warehouse of medicines for children is proposed to enable real time global visibility of source locations, availability, indicative prices and other information important to the end user, but not necessarily designed for order processing. It could also provide an information sharing platform for child specific medicines-especially on dosing guidelines, paediatric dosage forms, compounding information, and commercial manufacturers’ information.
Rifampicin syrup, a child specific medicine for treating tuberculosis is manufactured in the United States of America and United Kingdom. It is hardly available in Africa, yet this is where it may be needed most. Amoxicillin dispersible tablets are manufactured in India and some parts of Europe, but not in Africa How will the person in Africa know where they can find Rifampicin syrup or Amoxicillin dispersible tablets globally? A google search will not give you the sources, source location and indicative prices.
UNICEF is the leading UN children’s agency buying, warehousing and distributing medicines to over 80 of the poorest nations often directly and on behalf of governments and partners. UNICEF, governments, traders, procurement personnel, pharmacists and medical practitioners require information on child specific medicines (Name, formulation, route of administration, dose strength per unit, packaging, pack size), Source (manufacturer details, including location, secondary suppliers like wholesalers) , Regulatory information e.g medicine registration status in country of origin and countries where it could be sold, Quality information (Marketing authorizations, Good manufacturing certificates, ISO certification) and indicative prices. This is because child specific medicines are few and not available everywhere in the world. There are potentially a large number of manufacturers and suppliers in various global locations. The medicines have different regulatory/licensing requirements from country to country.
UNICEF is expected to ensure availability to child specific medicines that are comparatively low volumes of a very large range of products from a similarly wide range of manufacturers. To find out the information, say, on Rifampicin syrup or amoxicillin dispersible tablets, UNICEF sends out a tender request to prequalified suppliers (limited list), and they send us back information filled on paper, which we enter into an excel sheet. We also do an annual survey of sources and prices of medicines for children using excel (See under 1.8 current state and solutions below) The data is presented in a pdf format, is and cannot be sorted, filtered queried or searched.
This information is NOT REALTIME, is static and requires a lot of man hours to collect, collate, analyse and publish. It cannot be linked to its primary source documents, the WHO model list of essential medicines for Children http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmedicines/Updated_second_children_list_en.pdf and the WHO model formulary for children http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/list/WMFc_2010.pdf (which are also not electronic), neither can it be linked to data bases/links to solutions to some of the challenges with child specific medicines such as how to make these medicines from other medicines that are available.
UNICEF needs software management tools and processes that are capable of managing large volumes of source data from manufacturers, suppliers and regulators, yet flexible enough to work as an operational data base if needed (Sourcing for data, synthesizing it and presenting it in user friendly searchable formats).
'UNICEF needs electronic enabling technologies that allow manufacturers’ and regulators data interchange systems to share information with the virtual warehouse in real time with minimal human involvement. The majority of information has to be uploaded by manufacturers and regulators. A conceptual framework (Data and algorithm level) as well as dynamic decision support modules are desired.
The software/database would be published on UNICEF internet pages so a web application is needed in order to enable queries and search feature; and management of links to other sources of information. Access statistics should be provided
The proposal should elaborate on the process and method(s) of data capture, transmission, IT infrastructure, hardware & software, user interfaces, security of data access, data storage & retrieval, indication of the total cost of the system and the level of effort & expertise required to develop and implement the system. Money is an issue so the solution must be practical and low cost to develop, install and maintain.
The proposed concept and technical specifications should not pose a barrier to delivery by service providers from countries with emerging economies / economies in transition.
The proposed solution will represent a crucial contribution to the ongoing WHO and UNICEF project on better medicines for children designed to improve access and availability of child specific medicines globally, especially in developing countries. UNICEF does not intend to enter into system development alliances with entities whose intention is to subsequently become commercial providers of this service to UNICEF. As UNICEF is committed to facilitating the transfer of innovative technologies to the developing economies, it envisions engaging potential providers of the service from a broader geographical and economic spectrum.
UNICEF, together with the World Health Organization, have attempted to solve this problem by publishing a pdf document titled Sources and Prices of selected medicines for children (http://www.unicef.org/supply/index_47129.html) with data captured cross sectionally once a year using an excel sheet. It is a valuable resource for governments, academia, research and development groups, NGOs, donors, multilateral and other agencies who research, develop, fund and/or procure children’s medicines.
During RHoK 2.0 a simple web application covering the public data browser part geared towards consumers of the medicines information, and a about half of the data entry part geared towards medicines manufactures. The data is shown through categories that can be browsed through a simple portal.
To get the application into production in its simplest form the data entry part needs to be finished and a server to deploy on must be found. Actually deploying to said server is pretty straight forward
The application is built on ASP.NET MVC 2/.NET 4/C#, uses Entity Framework 4 for O/R mapping and an MS SQL server 2008 for persistence.
There is a data model and a use case model diagram in the documentation folder in the google code repository.
For further information on the technicalities of the application feel free to contact Christian Horsdal.
Some simple future development ideas are: