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Supplies and Logistics

Key Supply Markets for Women and Children

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0335/Asselin

The Markets Dashboard

UNICEF focuses on supplying strategic commodities that are essential for the realization of child rights and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Its approach includes seeking to enhance the flow of market information and ultimately improve the functioning of key markets by publishing a dashboard highlighting critical determinants of a commodity’s market health. They include availability, affordability, competition, quality, and funding security. The dashboard summarises UNICEF’s market assessment of 72 strategic essential lifesaving products for women, children, and young people.

We welcome users' feedback particularly as it will inspire debate regarding UNICEF's positioning and challenges in these markets and help the broader community identify opportunities for positive intervention. You can share your comments via email: supply@unicef.org

Market Dashboard - October 2018 

Since the market dashboard’s last update, some major market changes have occurred for several products, including:

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP) vaccines: Over the past year, supply availability of whole cell pertussis containing DTP (DTwP) and competition in the market has improved due to manufacturers offering UNICEF sufficient buffer capacity, even though one manufacturer informed UNICEF of supply restrictions during 2018. Supply is now sufficient to meet all country needs. Manufacturers still require sufficient notice for any unforecasted demand quantities to ensure timely access to product availability, as standalone DTwP and pentavalent vaccine production compete for the bulk product used to produce these vaccines. Countries seeking additional DTwP vaccine quantities need to accommodate and plan for longer lead delivery times.

Rotavirus Vaccines (RV): Overall RV supply through UNICEF remains insufficient to meet all confirmed country demand, and historically, has been ninety per cent reliant one manufacturer’s product presentation. This past year saw an increased diversification of supply options for countries as WHO prequalified four new RV products from two additional suppliers. At the same time, two longer-standing incumbent suppliers announced reduced supply availability, affecting existing country programmes and pending new country introductions. To mitigate supply shortages, UNICEF is supporting countries to consider the alternative, recently WHO prequalified products from the new/additional suppliers. Even though these new RV products are more affordable, their product characteristics require careful programme considerations especially in the absence of normative guidance on product interchangeability.

Meningococcal C- an CW-containing vaccines: This market has experienced some notable shifts, particularly a deterioration in overall affordability of some products available through UNICEF. Manufacturers of traditional meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine are choosing to divert their bulk to produce conjugate vaccines, which are priced much higher as they are the vaccines of choice in high-income countries. By comparison, supply of multivalent conjugate vaccines offered through UNICEF can be up to seven times the price of equivalent polysaccharides, ranging from USD 16.00 to USD 24.00. Whereas competition and pricing for conjugate vaccines is expected improve over time, the supply availability of multivalent polysaccharide is limited, undermined by demand uncertainty and resulting in slightly longer lead times for delivery, as well as price increases of up to fifteen per cent. Two manufacturers will nevertheless continue to have polysaccharide vaccine available for outbreak response, with sufficient shelf life to cover the needs through to 2019, and Gavi will provide greater funding security to cover emergency response requirements.

Cold Chain Equipment (CCE) Solar Direct Drives (SDDs): This market has evolved over the past year and UNICEF notes a number of improvements across overall availability, delivery lead-times, and funding security. Seven SDD manufacturers are offering four different technology solutions through thirty-five different products. Among these are products that include as integral features user-independent freeze-free protection, and products whose operating efficiency is extended to a wider ambient temperature range. Standard lead-times for delivery have also improved to between four to twelve weeks. Even though prices are higher than conventional refrigerator options, SDD products available through UNICEF are more affordable over the long run, as they are not dependant on electricity, gas, kerosene, or large batteries that require maintenance and replacement. Accordingly, new SDDs have a lower total lifetime cost than traditional, solar and absorption refrigerators, and some come with an extended ten-year warranty. Despite these advances, the affordability and availability of service provision for installation and maintenance remain sub-optimal albeit improving.

School Bags: School bags, like many other school supplies, are affordable and low-cost items, widely available from a competitive market, both at a local (programme country) level and an international level. In addition, a large number of school bag (and school supplies) manufacturers are located in China. In recent years, UNICEF’s major focus has been on improvements related to product sustainability and quality. Preference for bags made from more environmentally-friendly materials (over polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) initially came at the cost of reduced durability, resulting in bags being prone to breaking apart after a short time. In late 2017, UNICEF worked with suppliers to resolve quality issues. This resulted in a revised design for more durable and sustainable bags from several key suppliers.

Previous Updates:

Markets Dashboard - December 2017
Markets Dashboard - March 2017
Markets Dashboard - August 2016
Markets Dashboard - March 2016
Markets Dashboard - June 2015
Markets Dashboard - August 2014
Markets Dashboard - May 2014
Markets Dashboard - September 2013



UNICEF’s Newsletter on Market Information

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