Intersectional Pharmacist Ethiopia

PositionIntersectional Pharmacist Ethiopia
LocationAddis, Ethiopia
ContractOpen-ended / temporary: 6 months renewable depending on sections’ needs
Starting date: 15 July 2014


MSF has a strict policy concerning procurement of medicines and medical devices, to avoid potential problems with their quality in the countries where we work.

Risk factors specifically linked to local procurement of medicines include: weak governmental control on manufacturing, distribution and import; inappropriate quality standards; illicit distribution channels; and presence of substandard or falsely labeled products.

Therefore, the first-line procurement strategy is international supply from MSF’s European Supply Centres.

The intersectional pharmacist position was created in Ethiopia at the end of 2011 after the decision of the Ethiopian Medicines Regulatory Authority the “Food, Medicine and HealthCare Administration and Control Authority” (FMHACA) to restrict the MSF importation of medical products. It was strongly recommended having an intersectional pharmacist to maintain a coherent approach in the procurement strategy and in the negotiation with FMHACA, having one MSF representative for all sections.

The general objective of the position is to support and supervise MSF programs and sections in medicines supply, by guaranteeing that MSF quality standards are applied according to the evolving situation in the country and available updated information.

At the present there are three sections (MSF OCA/OCBa/OCP missions) operating in Ethiopia.



This position is an intersectional (IS) position and will be accountable to the medical coordinators of the three sections (MSF OCA/OCBa/OCP missions) operational in Ethiopia.

In the field this position is under the administrative and security management of OCP mission in Ethiopia.

Regular technical Section Pharmacist support to this position is provided by OCA Section Pharmacist. OCA Section Pharmacist will provide a consolidated feedback from all Section Pharmacists in timely fashion, in case of questions requiring response from all sections and provide support to ensure the communication from the Ethiopia intersectional pharmacist is shared at operational level.

It will be responsibility of the OCA section pharmacist to ensure that the intersectional pharmacist is given appropriate technical back-up, by:

  • considering him/her as a member of the international pool (including two participations per year in international pharmacists meetings)
  • continuously sharing with him/her relevant updated information on sources and quality
  • Ensuring the links with the pharmacists in the access campaign team and in the Supply Centres.



He/she will work in collaboration with each medical coordinator and national pharmacist and with each SP concerning regulatory and any other pharmaceutical issues to be shared and respected by MSF sections working in Ethiopia.

In addition, he/she will be the focal person for all the contacts done by all sections with the authorities and with European Supply Centres (ESCs), regarding pharmaceutical issues, in order to assure intersectional coherence.

The intersectional pharmacist will support Ethiopian missions, through team work with all concerned departments (medical, logistic, administration), in solving specific supply issues related to the importation constraints faced in Ethiopia.

Each section will continue to have their own stock and be responsible and accountable for their medical stock management (responsibility of the mission pharmacist and the pharmaceutical stock manager under supervision of medical coordinator, or supply logistic for certain sections).

The intersectional pharmacist is not supposed to replace or be the back-up of national pharmacist during holiday; each section must manage this situation by itself.



General Objectives:

  • To ensure that medical coordinators, SPs and ESCs are aware and updated on the national medicines regulations, guidelines and laws;
  • To ensure that all sections implement the same importation and supply rules in accordance with the MSF Procurement Policy;
  • To establish a data base with items and sources authorised for local purchase
  • To be the focal person representing MSF in front of the pharmaceuticals authorities (FMHACA), procurement governmental agency (PFSA) on pharmaceutical issues;
  • To liaise with other NGOs, USAID partners and UN agencies (Unicef, UNHCR)  and private hospital association regarding pharmaceutical issues on a proactive manner

Specific Objectives:

a) Regularly update information on pharmaceutical legislation in particular importation and inform IPC, SPs, ESCs and/or medical coordinators accordingly

- Coordinate regular meetings with the mission pharmacists/medical coordinators/supply officers where pharmaceuticals information are exchanged and problems shared in order to find common solutions;

- Follow up the National Essential Drug List updates and advocate for change or discuss therapeutic specificities if necessary, in collaboration with the medical coordinators;

- Follow update of FMHACA registered manufacturer, distributor and registered medicines lists, with particular focus on suppliers of interest to MSF;

- Ensure a permanent up-to-date set of guidelines/procedures, adapting the MSF practices to national regulations and if necessary, elaborate and propose new guidelines/procedures

- Provide Med-Cos with update of MSF procurement tables (HIV, TB and Malaria) on receipt from disease-focused pharmacists and check quarterly for updates of WHO-PQ tables (reproductive health products, HIV and opportunistic infections, TB and anti-malarial)

b) Ensure all the changes in importation procedures are communicated to the MSF ESCs in a timely manner, with the involvement of the supply team:

- Check International medical orders and communicate import problems by liaising with the medical team in the mission and subsequently with the MSF European Procurement Centres

- Continuously communicate to the ESCs the new updates and changes in the national guidelines, information and regulations as pertains to pharmaceutical products importation

- Document all problems encountered with importation, for the three sections, in order to identify lessons to be learned.

c) Database and local procurement:

- Continuously update the Ethiopia Medical Procurement Database, to be fed by information collected locally and by information provided by the pool of HQ pharmacists);

- Update a list of local selected suppliers after any new country assessment

- On delegation of the SPs perform technical visit to the local suppliers

- Continuously update the international pharmacists’ coordinator and section pharmacists with new findings about local importers and suppliers for products impossible to import;

- Monitor Local Purchase procedure for items impossible to import and for non-planned orders (ruptures). The procedure should ensure quality and available supply in an efficient and timely manner;

- Follow up contract agreements with local suppliers.

d) Focal person representing MSF towards the authorities (FMHACA and PFSA) on pharmaceuticals issues, and ensure a coherent and consistent communication system with authorities:

- To participate to all meetings related to pharmacy regulations organized by FMHACA and other agencies (if invited), and share the information with MSF coordinations, SPs, IPC and ESCs.

e) Technical pharmacy support for medical managers:

- To support supply officers, mission pharmacists/pharmacy managers and medical coordinators in providing training, and advise in various topics related to drugs importation and medical stock management when requested;

- Brief all new Medical coordinator and Log-Co regarding Ethiopia Pharmaceutical situation and the role of the intersectional pharmacist;

- To support the medical coordination in case of recruitment for national pharmacists or pharmacy stock managers;

- To help the teams in setting up proper controls at the reception of medicines, particularly for locally purchased medicines or medicines supplied through the governmental supply system.

f) Act as the focal point for quality problem of the medical products:

-  Provide support for quality alert/batch recalls relating to pharmaceuticals and medical devices (on request of and in liaison with IPC and SPs)

- Coordinate information relating to complaints received regarding pharmaceuticals and medical devices;

- Ensure each section is maintaining correctly a local purchase register in order to permit traceability and pharmacovigilance monitoring.



  • Submit short monthly activity reports (Sitrep, before the 10th of every month) to be shared with medical coordinators, SPs, IPC and whoever interested.
  • Attend MSF medical coordinator meetings held when requested
  • Organize and keep minute of the meetings with the national pharmacists
  • Participation in Grand Messe – twice yearly – and any other meeting organized by the international office, upon request



Pharmacist with degree/diploma in pharmacy


  • Minimum  3 years professional experiences, including some experience in developing countries with MSF or another organisation
  • Knowledge of MSF European Procurement Centres highly recommended
  • Experience with quality assurance and procurement is an asset


  • Fluency in English mandatory (French and Spanish would be added advantages)
  • Mature with strong interpersonal and organisational skills
  • Ability to work and report independently
  • Able to represent MSF and capacity to negotiate positively and diplomatically with MoH FMHACA officials and MSF national and expatriate staff
  • Excellent communication and diplomatic skills
  • Sensitivity and knowledge of Ethiopian cultural context important
  • Good organization and management skills
  • Professionalism, transparency and flexibility a must
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills with attention to detail
  • Knowledge of Pharmacy tools is a plus (Isystock and Logistix 7)

Deadline for applications: 24 June 2014

Please submit all applications only by email to: with indicating “Intersectional pharmacist Ethiopia” in the title