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[e-drug] For Bakari & others: Bhutan Drugs Supply Chain Management Challenges

E-DRUG: For Bakari & others: Bhutan Drugs Supply Chain Management Challenges
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Dear all,

Just sharing some experience from Bhutan.

In Bhutan, drug supply management has alsways posed a 
great challenge to the health sector. The country's policy 
of free health care services including provision of 
essential drugs has, in the recent time, raised concerns 
about sustainability with increasing drug costs and 
emerging new diseases.

Although procurement is limited to the Essential Drugs 
List (EDL) and guided by the National drug Policy, meeting 
the health care needs of the entire population within the 
given limited resources has been a major challenge. This 
is further confounded by the fact that Bhutan does not 
have any drug testing facility in the country and the DRA 
was only recent established in 2004, thus raising concerns 
of quality of drugs procured.

Being a small landlocked country, with difficult terrain 
wherein most of the primary health care centres are not 
accessible by road, distribution of drugs, which is also 
done centrally, has not been an easy task. What Bhutan has 
hopes to achieve in the coming years is the use of IT 
facilities for effective management of medical supplies. A 
computerised inventory system is under development 
presently which will link the central procurement agency 
with all the health centres for effective monitoring of 
medical supplies thus reducing problems of stock-outs and 
wastages. How user-friendly and practically feasible this 
system will be can only be known once tested and tried.

Manusika Rai
EDP Program Manager

Essential Drugs Program
Ministry of Health
Bhutan
"Essential Drugs Programme" <edp@druknet.bt>

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