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[e-drug] Drugs Supply Chain Management Challenges

E-DRUG: Drugs Supply Chain Management Challenges

[We invite you to share your thoughts about solutions to current and future 
challenges to
drugs supply chain management.  BS Moderator]

Equitable healthcare services including access to drugs and medical 
supplies are the major function of any healthcare system. Effective 
healthcare supply chain systems are reliant on rational drugs 
selection, pricing and financing. These are also dependent on other 
factors such as health policies, economies as well as political 
stability forming a series of interrelated dependencies.

Being a very dynamic area, drugs supply chain management has evolved a 
number of challenges that can be categorized regionally depending on 
the level of resource availability and technology advancement. While 
developed countries have managed to do away with most of these 
challenges-including poor health policies, poor logistics 
infrastructure and management, political interference poor technology 
use, poorly resourced Drugs Regulatory Authorities (DRAs), unqualified 
supply chain managers, demand supply imbalances, deficit health budgets 
and corruption-most of these are still prevalent in the developing 

Some challenges like drug quality issues are general as evidenced by 
the number of cases in US, which has a well resourced DRA. For example, 
the recent case of Chinese made Heparin blood thinner linked to sixty 
two deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions in the U.S. and Germany.

As we globalize supply chains, we will reap the associated benefits 
including more pricing competitiveness and economies of scale. However, 
it is more likely that more challenges will emerge that require 
strategic proactive solutions.

Grass root policies, use of Information Technology, capacity building 
and global collaboration including information and experience sharing 
through forums like E-drug are currently seen as pragmatic solutions 
for mitigating these challenges.

How feasible is Information Technology for drug supply chain management 
in politically unstable and under-resourced areas?

What are your thoughts about solutions to current and future challenges to
drugs supply chain management?

What role can global collaboration play in capacity building?

Bakari A. Bakari
Information Systems Manager, Medical Stores Dept.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, TANZANIA
Public Health Informatics & Leadership Humphrey Fellow 2007/08
North Carolina University, Chapel Hill, NC AED Satellife Intern May 
19-June 13, 2008
Boston, MA 02472-2539

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