Assessment of Pharmaceutical Store and Inventory Management in Rural Public Health Facilities–A study with reference to Udupi District, Karnataka
Inventory management is the core of pharmaceutical supply system. It is all about ordering, receiving, storing, issuing, and again reordering of limited list of products. On a realistic bases inventory management is a difficult task, because in many countries possession of a poor inventory management system in the pharmaceutical supply system has resulted in wastage or blockade of financial resources, shortage and overage of essential drugs, increase in out-of-pocket expenditure and decline in quality of healthcare services. Objective: This study is undertaken to assess the pharmaceutical inventory management and store keeping practices followed at the rural primary health centers in Udupi district, Karnataka. Methods: Retrospective data was collected by conducting a situational analysis in selected 20 primary health centers located across Udupi district. The collected data is related to the system of inventory management adopted, procurement practices, purchasing documents, essential drug lists, stock records, rate of correct items received and supplied, rate blacklisted and expired drugs, and rate of drug storages. The key performance indicatorswere collected from 2013 to 2015 to study the system and to identify the existing bottlenecks. Results: The inventory management and store keeping system implemented in primary health care (rural division) is still a piecemeal and ad hoc in nature. With the provided infrastructure, work force, complex procedures, manual system of record maintenance, lack of co-ordination between the activities and players only causes plethora of bottlenecks resulting in irrational usage of limited resources. Conclusion: Overall, there are still chances for improvement within the public pharmaceutical supply system at the primary healthcare level in the state. If corrective standardized measures are implemented in the areas of procurement, drug quantification, distribution, and inventory control, then the problems associated with stock-outs and wastage can be minimized.