Outbound Logistics Of Medicines In Private Pharmacies In Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


Across low- and lower-middle income countries, the average availability of selected essential medicines has been reported to be low, 57% in public sector facilities and 65.1% in private facilities. Many studies have investigated public drug-supply systems, but only a few have looked into the private pharmaceutical sector in low-income countries. The aim of the study was to assess the outbound logistics of private pharmacies. A cross sectional study involving prospective data collection was conducted in selected private pharmacies in Addis Ababa, focusing on availability of essential medicines, inventory and store management and disposal practices. Face to face interview and observation was made to gather pertinent data using a modified version of the LIAT and WHO/HAI methodology. A total of 67 private pharmacies from Independent, Chain, Kenema and Hospital pharmacies were assessed. Results of the study revealed that the overall availability of selected essential medicines at private pharmacies during visit was 83.18%. Hospital pharmacies had higher availability of medicines compared to other private pharmacy groups in this study (p < 0.05). The major reason for stock out of essential medicines in studied private pharmacies was non-availability in the market while prescription pattern was the most important factor that determines level of inventory. When observing storage conditions of private pharmacies, this study found out that, for larger proportion (77.61%) of the private pharmacies, the storage conditions were at acceptable level (score ≥ 80). However, it was observed that majority of the pharmacies, 58 (86.6%), accumulated medicine wastes. The respondents were complaining that there are no ‘disposal firms’ for private pharmacies to dispose their accumulated medicine. In general, Private pharmacies in this study were neither engaged in reverse logistics of expired medicines nor willing to collect expired medicines from their patients which may lead to accumulation of medicine wastes or inappropriate disposal at households. Similarly, the study identified that the three most important challenges affecting SCM of private pharmacies were difficulty of obtaining continuous supply, disposal challenge and unethical business practice. It is recommended that the government should support drug-take-back program and establishment of environment friendly medicine disposal firms in Ethiopia.



Essential, Medicine, Inventory