Strengthening access to affordable, high quality medicines

Department for Pharmaceutical Development Cooperation

Millions of people do not have access to essential medicine: procuring the right medication in sufficient quantity in a timely, regular and cost-effective way, as well as properly storing it, is indispensable for health care facilities. For this reason, the DIFÄM  Department for Pharmaceutical Development Cooperation, which is an officially recognized central purchasing agency for medicines, supports the setup of central pharmacies. The supply of high quality medicines to Christian hospitals in economically poor countries is also an important part of their work.

In addition, the training of pharmaceutical professionals on the ground plays an important role. If possible, medicines and goods are purchased from local production. The Department for Pharmaceutical Development Cooperation regularly supports quality analyses of medicines and advises both local project partners and development cooperation organizations in the development of local structures of care.

Counseling is one of the department’s essential tasks. Not only the local project partners, but also partnership groups, relief agencies or development organizations can benefit from the staff’s expert knowledge – just for information or to support their own pharmaceutical relief measures.

Local Drug Supply Organizations

Today there are about 15 church-owned Drug Supply Organizations (DSOs) in different African countries who procure drugs and medical supplies mainly from African and Asian sources. The total annual turnover of these DSOs is about 90 million US-Dollars. Being  a key partner of these DSOs, DIFAEM Pharmaceutical Services is strengthening their capacity to supply essential drugs to church hospitals and to improve networking between the DSOs in order to facilitate access to drugs across the continent, e.g. from Kenya to Chad or Sierra Leone, from Uganda to Sudan or DRC etc. Furthermore, DSOs are strengthened through appropriate training and capacity building.

Quality Control of Medicines

Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QC) of medicines are another main focus of DIFAEM Pharmaceutical Services. We advise and support partners when implementing and upgrading their QC systems. Specifically, we make sure that these DSOs have appropriate means to ensure that all medicines are of the highest quality possible. Our Pharmaceutical Services also promote rational use of essential medicines and advocate for the prevention of antibiotic resistance and other issues such as better access to formulations for children in essential drugs.

Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network

Since 1959 DIFAEM has been developing its Pharmaceutical Services, initially providing basic supplies for mission hospitals and later developing and strengthening local pharmaceutical services especially in Africa. This led to the development of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) that operates today in more than 30 countries with church-based drug supply organizations providing quality pharmaceutical services especially in the African context.

Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network EPN >

Links und Downloads

Your Contact Person

Christine Häfele-Abah, Head Pharmaceutical Services & Procurement

Apothecary, MScIH
Tel.: +49/7071 206-851

Key Activities

  • Drug Supply Management
  • Quality Assurance for drugs and supplies
  • Chair of the board of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network
  • Procurement of drugs and supplies in
    development and humanitarian aid
  • Quality management
  • Supply Chain Management

Sabine Reichmann, Project Controlling

P.O.Box 1307, 72003 Tuebingen, Germany

Tel.: +49/7071 206-860

Key Activities

  • Management Project controlling
  • Consultant Pharmaceutical Projects
  • Monitorin and evaluation