Challenges of Pharmaceuticals Outbound Logistics in Ethiopia: The Case of Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency

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Addis Ababa University


Pharmaceuticals outbound logistics is the process and activities of storing, distributing and transporting of health care commodities to end users. For the central EPSA the practice begins when the inventory management team receives order from the hubs and customers and ends when the pharmaceutical products are delivered. The goal of this study was to identify the challenges of outbound logistics using qualitative research approach. Primary data which were collected with open ended questionnaires, in-depth face-to-face interviews and direct observation were used as data collecting tools. The study identified major challenges of pharmaceuticals outbound logistics including insuf icient warehouse spaces, poor integration links between operational units, the agency’s structure itself, inadequacy of material handling equipments and their operatives, poor labeling and descriptions, product non conformance with documents, inability to segregate warehouses for dif erent pharmaceuticals products during storage and integrate during transport. Based on the conclusions of summary of results, recommendations were forwarded to the agency including: constructing additional centralized warehouses, integration of functional units, restructuring of the civil service structure, working in collaboration with regional governments and close monitoring of activities. Inability of the study to extrapolate challenges of outbound logistics of the agency’s hubs to health facilities were limitations of the study, and the period at which the study conducted, when the agency is implementing change initiatives were taken as good opportunity for future directions.



outbound logistics, , Pharmaceuticals, order fill rate