[ Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia - ONLINE ]
E-ISSN 2586-8470
[ Journal Abbreviation: Pharm.Sci.Asia ]
Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  FORMER NAME   "Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" Published Since 1974


DOI: 10.29090/psa.2019.04.018.0007Pharm Sci Asia 2019; 46(4), 231-237

Assessment of Medicines Supply Chain Management of Select Primary Care Facilities in the Philippines

Romulo F. Nieva Jr1*, Yolanda R. Robles2

1 MHSS, RN, Policy Advocacy Associate, Zuellig Family Foundation, Manila, Philippines
2 PhD, President, Philippine Pharmacist Association, Inc., Manila, Philippines

Lack of access to medicines is a key health systems problem in a lot of developing countries. In the Philippines, lack of access to medicines is compounded by health system inefficiencies in relation to medicines management by municipal governments in a devolved health setting. The objective of the study was to determine the medicines supply chain management practices of the local health facilities in 10 municipalities. This assessment used a desk review of existing regulations on medicines management in 10 partner municipalities of Zuellig Family Foundation, plus 32 key informant interviews with mayors, municipal health officers, and other local health members. Questions asked were mainly on the processes on drug selection, procurement, storage, distribution, and disposal implemented in managing medicines at the local health facilities. Data gathered from the interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to content analysis for desk review. Findings indicated that all municipalities had problems in terms of accessibility and availability of essential medicines. Data showed that existing problems at various stages of the medicines management cycle, and challenges in medicines’ quantification, storage, distribution, utilization monitoring and disposal were apparent in all of the targeted municipalities. In particular, medicines management functions were exercised by all municipal governments; however, these were below the standard. There is a need for local officials to understand systemic challenges in medicines management such as logistical issues brought about by fragmented procurement processes and limited resources.


Medicines management, Primary care facilities, Municipalities

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