January 26-27, 2018 the team at Access Global retreated at Ridar Hotel in Mukono to renew our commitments and we are more determined to address the challenge of stock-out and expiration of essential medicines in developing countries.

Health commodities are essential for delivery of health care. However, according to a United Nations Report – the Global Partnership for Development: The challenge we face (https://goo.gl/rdjBew) poor availability of health commodities is still a major challenge in developing countries. According to the UN, essential medicines were available only in 57% of public health facilities and 65% of private health facilities by 2012. In Uganda a briefing paper by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development available at https://goo.gl/evxy1r reveals that the Government of Uganda is concerned about “continuous stock out” of essential medicines. Conversely, expiration of medicines is also common in Uganda (https://goo.gl/D5ziVi). Concurrent stock-out and expiration of essential medicines has undesirable public health consequences and it stands out as a key challenge for the health sector in developing countries.

In responding to the challenge of stock-out and expiration of essential medicines, we at Access Global stand for the values of creation and dissemination of knowledge, evidence based innovations, excellence in whatever we do, social responsibility, honesty and integrity. We exist to strengthen supply chains for health through research and consultancy. In the year 2017, we were pre-occupied with the question of why stock-out and expiration of medicines occur in developing countries as it consistently came from our clients. Incidentally, my Doctoral Research at Maastricht School of Management (https://goo.gl/ctDBSw) focuses on the same question. Therefore, as we settle down for 2018, I am motivated to focus research at Access Global on why stock-out and expiration of medicines occur in developing countries. This focus will not only benefit our clients but also help my personal ambition for the year to progress with my Doctoral research.

In our research, we argue that pharmaceutical supply chains are complex undertakings that need to be optimally set to attain desired performance. Assessing performance requires dis-aggregated data to be collected and analyzed to show what happens in each segment of the supply chain at any specified moment in time. However, such performance measures are non-existent and supply chain performance is depicted through extreme occurrences like stock-out and expiration of essential medicines.

Optimizing the supply chain requires collaboration and integration of supply chain members to deliver value for the end user. Unfortunately, there is minimal understanding and conceptualization of how collaboration and supply chain integration may be applied to pharmaceutical supply chains. Consequently, practitioners lack a plausible theoretical framework to guide interventions in the quest to improve performance. Interventions are therefore either not directed on the key performance determinants or critical aspects of the supply chain are excluded from the investments made. This results into continued under-performance despite investments made to improve supply chains.

Research at Access Global Ltd, intends to close the knowledge gap through empirical case studies of stock-out and expiration of essential medicines in developing countries to propose theory on why and how stock-outs occur in pharmaceutical supply chains of developing countries. We argue that gaps in performance measurement, supply chain collaboration and supply chain integration undermine flow of information, products, funds, and management decisions across the supply chain. Disruptions in flow exhibit as stock-outs, stock accumulation, and expiration in the medicines supply chains of developing countries.

We are interested in collaborating with like-minded organizations and individuals to advance our research agenda. We therefore request your support through useful introductions and connections, sharing of relevant experience and information to enable us to explicate why stock-out and expiration of essential medicines occur in developing countries. Please write to us at Director@accessglobal.co.ug . And yes, we welcome consultancy assignments related to this question!

Happy new year 2018.

2 thoughts on “Why stock-out and expiration of medicines occur in developing countries: Our commitment for the year 2018

  1. Is the argument that developing countries government
    controlled and politically inclined pharmaceutical procurement institutions are not well placed to ensure the agile supply chains required to address the challenges of stock outs and expirations??

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    1. Yes, it is possible that the supply chains are not sufficiently agile due to government and political control. And it is an aspect that we are interested in, indeed.

      Like

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