Delivering products through pharmacies: emergence of a market leader
DKT International’s program in Vietnam delivers the largest volumes of condoms and oral contraceptives. The strategy is, as has been with most of the 70 social marketing programs in the world, to use resources in the private sector to supplement the distribution of free products by the public sector.
A team of sales personnel, trained and deployed by DKT Vietnam in all parts of the country, supplies products to pharmacies at a pre-determined frequency. Each salesperson acts as a supply depot receiving products from the two central warehouses and making visits to assess market conditions and replenish supplies.
All the transactions are related to performance thereby keeping the levels of efficiency very high. (The sales staff emoluments comprise a fixed salary and a performance linked commission and bonus.) In 13 years of operation in Vietnam, the amount of financial defaults is negligible.
DKT Vietnam’s program began with condoms. After the initial distribution system was established, low-dose oral contraceptives were introduced in 1995. The products are advertised aggressively through mass media and traditional media. An ongoing advocacy campaign focuses on ensuring that the environment is conducive for the products.
2005: DKT distributed 3,166,300 cycles of contraception
Targeted interventions: promoting safe sex through information and condoms
In 2003 DKT Vietnam started receiving support from the Department for International Development (DFID). The program targeted interventions in 21 provinces of Vietnam, working through trainers, local PABs and PCPFC officers, communal health staff, population specialists, students, pharmacists and women in the community. The effect was increased awareness and in 2005 DKT distributed 3,166,300 cycles of contraception.