The AMFm aims to subsidise the cost of ACTs so that they are more accessible and affordable. It hopes that the lower price of ACTs will help to drive out cheap, but less effective treatments because resistance to them is widespread, as well as artemisinin monotherapy.
To achieve this aim, the Global Fund will reduce the manufacturer sales price of ACTs to public, private and not-for-profit sector buyers. The Global Fund will do this by negotiating a lower price for ACTs and then paying a large proportion of this directly to manufacturers on behalf of buyers (a buyer “co-payment”). This means that buyers will only pay approximately US$0.05 for each course of ACTs. For patients who currently pay for treatment, this is expected to result in a significant reduction in the price of ACTs from about US$6-10 per treatment to about US$0.20-0.50.
The AMFm principles, objectives and technical design were developed by the Roll Back Malaria AMFm Taskforce based on the recommendations of Economy Nobel Prize winner Kenneth Arrow's report "Saving lives, buying time" published in 2004. The RBM Board of November 2007 approved them and requested the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to become the AMFm manager.
The first phase of Affordable Medicines Facility – malaria has been launched in a small group of countries, to enable lessons to be learned before expanding the initiative to other malaria-endemic countries. Participants include Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar) and Uganda.