U.S. Funds Study for Lowering Cost, Increasing Availability of Pharmaceuticals in Egypt

Cairo - On Sunday, August 15, 2010, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, signed a cooperative agreement on behalf of the U.S. Trade Development Agency (USTDA) for a grant of over half a million dollars to improve the supply and delivery of pharmaceutical products in Egypt. Ambassador Scobey was joined by Dr. Kamal Sabra, Assistant Minister of Health for Pharmaceutical Affairs, at a signing ceremony for the $557,704 grant at her residence in Cairo.

Egypt's healthcare sector is expecting growth rates of 10 percent annually for the next five years. The USTDA grant will fund a feasibility study to examine how Egypt's pharmaceuticals supply chain could be enhanced to meet those growing needs. The study focuses on possibilities for data collection, inventory management, and process standardization. The study will also focus on increasing communications and facilitating closer collaboration. The project is an integral part of the Ministry's health reform effort to provide cost effective and improved services to the public. Expanding the capabilities of the current supply chain will lead to lower costs and a greater variety of pharmaceuticals available to patients. In addition, the grant will fund the design of a pair of pilot projects for two governorates in Egypt to test key findings of the study.

At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Scobey said "The United States and Egypt have had a long history of cooperation in the healthcare sector, including implementing programs to improve health coverage of underserved populations and strengthening the technical and managerial capacity of the health sector to positively impact the well-being of the Egyptian population. Today's USTDA grant is yet another opportunity for Egypt and the U.S. to work together, this time addressing the supply and distribution of pharmaceutical products in Egypt."