The modern pharmaceutical supply chain is complex. With the advent of globalization and relaxed FDI norms in the emerging economies, Asia is fast becoming a magnet for pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. Medicines nowadays are made from ingredients that are sourced from different countries. The final product is packaged, repackaged and sold multiple times and in many countries. Now, more than ever, essential life-saving drugs change hands multiple times from the time it was manufactured till it reaches the patient. This creates increased possibility for falsified or substandard products to infiltrate the market. Participation of numerous stakeholders such as pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, customers, information service providers and regulatory agencies further complicates the process flow.
In most developed countries, all of the pharmaceutical supply chain is managed by the private sector apart from the regulatory role played by the government, but in developing countries, despite their vastly smaller tax base, the government manages this complex distribution chain. African nations have a government-owned-and-operated central medical store which manages the distribution of drugs, transporting goods around the country in a government-owned fleet. Inefficient supply chain management can lead to higher costs and drug stock-outs in an already burdened system. This drug scarcity in turn creates a vacuum for poor-quality products to fill, which leads to a host of life-threatening problems. Traditionally the process is managed manually which is marred by the following challenges:
The important features of this solution is:
The drug distribution and supply chain system ensures that all stakeholders are connected via a single entity, informative and user- friendly interface. Adoption of e-Niramaya, a robust and dependable IT platform by the Odisha Government has reduced PO generation time by a massive 50% without compromising on data accuracy. The cumbersome task of providing 570 types of medicines, 83 surgical items, 107 anti-cancer items, 6 child health items, 6 nutrition program, 28 malaria control programs, 5 items to fight against leprosy, etc. to the right people at the right time has been made possible through this unique system.