Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: prime vendor system for MNCH devices

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PFSCM, through its parent company JSI Research & Training Inc., undertook a project in two sub-Saharan African countries on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project was aimed at addressing limitations identified with the procurement and distribution of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) devices.

The project was designed to explore the feasibility of establishing a prime vendor system (PVS) that addresses bottlenecks in the supply and demand sides of the market by working with distributors (prime vendors) and procurers in these countries. The PVS targets a select list of MNCH devices, improving access at guaranteed pricing.

To increase access (supply), a PVS aggregates demand for MNCH devices across countries, conducts global supplier selection, establishes framework agreements with global suppliers, and creates a catalog for devices, services, and consumables, that enables local distributors to benefit from regional scale.

PFSCM undertook a rigorous market assessment by engaging with local distributors in target countries and reviewing their quality standards, business maturity, and ability to provide warranty and after-sale services. The assessment also documented current gaps in the supply of the medical devices included in the study and as well as the key bottlenecks and their root causes

A PVS allows for strategic market shaping, aggregating demand, and setting a standard price with a predefined total cost of ownership. It improves transparency and service offerings of medical device distributors, addresses supply inefficiencies, and improves distributor capabilities to support the device lifecycle.


Project Date

  • 2019 - 2022

Focus Area

  • Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
  • Prime vendor system
  • Pooled procurement


Impact Figures

  • $1 million budget allocation
  • Uganda and Zambia