The World Health Organization estimates there were 589,000 new TB cases in 2018.1 Approximately 1 million Filipinos have TB the country contributes to around 7% in the gap of underreported cases globally. In terms of mortality about 3 Filipinos die of TB per hour.
The DOH committed to the rollout of massive rapid TB testing utilizing the GeneXpert Platform. 39% of patients will seek consultation first in the private sector.
However, only 488 facilities have this technology and only 4% in the private facilities. The cost of GeneXpert test in private laboratories on average is 155 USD, and can go as high as 200 USD.
The cost of the test for private patients in the Philippines is the 2nd highest globally2 – this then becomes a deterrent for doctors to request for GeneXpert for all suspected patients.
Hence, 90% of patients in the private sector will remain clinically diagnosed.
The main approach in making this materialize is to be patient-centered, respecting patients’ choices to be treated in the private sector, and focusing on making this affordable.
Taking into consideration the profit margins of stakeholders such as the suppliers, distributors as well as laboratory and hospitals3 was also a crucial part.
A market analysis was done, identifying what drives the cost in the private sector for the pricing of GeneXpert. All of these eventually led to negotiation for concessional pricing.
These were all the values considered in forming the Philippine Private Sector Diagnostics Consortium (The Consortium).
The Consortium is a group of private hospitals and laboratories whose vision is to contribute to the Philippine Government’s quest in improving public health management and care.
In leveraging innovative approaches and market-based models, a Public-Private Partnership is streamlining procurement and service delivery in the private sector.
Members undergo pooled procurement of cartridges quarterly, providing a low-cost, high-profit marketing style.
Members of the Consortium are able to access GeneXpert systems and cartridges at a concessional pricing. They are also mandated – per the Consortium’s charter – to provide uniform patient pricing for tests procured at concessional price of 42 USD, while providing quality assured diagnostics and following mandatory
TB Notification guidelines set by the NTP, with agreements to be monitored.
The consortium was formally launched last February 26, 2020. The event was participated by all stakeholders and 11 founding members of the Consortium. The highlight of this event was the Signing of the MOU between stakeholders and the Turnover of GeneXpert Machine and Cartridges to the Consortium.
Despite the pandemic the Consortium is able to achieve the following with over one year since launching:
 WHO Global TB Report 2020 WHO Global Tuberculosis Report, 2020
 Lancet, 2016 Xpert MTB/RIF for tuberculosis testing: access and price in highly privatised health markets
 Sustaining Private Sector TB Testing Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic – The Philippine Private Sector Diagnostics Consortium (PPSDC) presentation by Dr. Lalaine Mortera