Assessment of Pharmaceutical Warehouse Management Practice: The Case of Private Pharmaceutical Wholesalers in Ethiopia

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Pharmaceutics and Social Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia


Proper storage conditions for pharmaceutical products and paramedical supplies are crucial to maintaining their quality, safety, and efficacy. Poor warehouse management practice may lead to wastage or blockade of financial resources, irrational utilization of drugs, shortage, or overage of essential medicines among many others. The current study aimed to assess the warehouse management practice of private pharmaceutical wholesalers in Gondar, Ethiopia. The study utilized an institution-based cross-sectional study method. The data was collected using a checklist adapted from the Logistics Indicators Assessment Tool (LIAT) developed by the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT and was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Descriptive analysis was conducted and results were presented using tables and figures. A total of five pharmaceutical wholesalers were surveyed. All of the surveyed entities were managing both medicines as well as other medical supplies, and they were supplying their products to both public and private health facilities. The majority of the facilities 4(80%) reported that they were using the Professional Electronic Data System (PEDS) for the management of pharmaceutical products in the warehouse. The overall put away/ storage performance of the facilities was 68.75%, which can be regarded as poor (<80%). All of the facilities lack sufficient product handling equipment for unloading and moving the incoming goods. In conclusion, the overall warehouse management practice at the private pharmaceutical wholesalers was found to be poor. Shortage of product handling equipment and inadequate layout of the warehouses were the two most common problem areas identified that need major improvement.


Alemu A. (2017). Measuring supply chain performance in Ethiopian pharmaceutical industry using BSC model: the case of Addis pharmaceutical factory (Doctoral dissertation, Addis Ababa University).
Alene H. (2018). Assessment Of Pharmaceuticals Warehousing Practice: The Case Of Pharamaceuticals Fund And Supply Agency, Centeral Level, Ethiopia..
Ayele T. (2019). Assessing Performances Of Pharmaceutical Store Management: The Case Of General Public Hospitals Under The Addis Ababa City Administration Health Bureau, Ethiopia.
Ayuk SO, Agbor ON, Tanyi F. (2014). Assessment of human resources capacity of pharmaceutical warehouses in Cameroon. Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, Vol. 7(1), doi:10.1186/2052-3211-7-S1-P9.
Baruffaldi G, Accorsi R, Manzini R. (2019). Warehouse management system customization and information availability in 3pl companies. Industrial Management & Data Systems. Vol. 119(2), pp. 251-273.
Bartholdi JJ, Hackman ST. (2014). Warehouse and distribution science. Supply Chain and Logistics Institute.
Bekele S. (2018). An Assessment on Pharmaceutical Storage System in The Case of Arsi Zone Governmental Health Centers..
Berhanu A. (2017). Effectiveness of Warehouse Management in Save the Children Ethiopia A Case of Gambella Emergency office..
Bhakoo V, Singh P, Sohal A. (2012). Collaborative management of inventory in Australian hospital supply chains: practices and issues. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal. Vol. 17(2), pp. 217-30.
Boche B, Mulugeta T, Gudeta T. (2020). Assessment of Inventory Management Practices at the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Integrated Pharmacy Research & Practice, Vol. 9, pp. 175-183.
Central Statistical Agency Ethiopia and ICF International. Ethiopian demographic and health survey. Addis Ababa: Central Statistical Agency Ethiopia and ICF International; 2016.
Deliver U. (2011). The logistics handbook a practical guide for the supply chain management of health commodities. USAID| DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order.; Vol. 1, pp. 174.
Geraldes CA, Carvalho MS, Pereira GA. (2008). A warehouse design decision model—Case study. In2008 IEEE International Engineering Management Conference, (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
Hailu T. (2018). Assessment Of Warehouse Management: The Case Of Pharmaceutical Fund And Supply Agency Head Office..
John Snow I. (2017). The Supply Chain Manager’s Handbook, A Practical Guide to the Management of Health Commodities. Arlington, Va.: John Snow, Inc.
Kokilam MB, Joshi HG, Kamath VG. (2015). Assessment of Pharmaceutical Store and Inventory Management in Rural Public Health Facilities--A study with reference to Udupi District, Karnataka. Pharmaceutical Methods, Vol. 6(2), pp. 53-59.
Ouma AM, Njeru AW, Dennis J. (2013)Assessment of the Influence of Just in Time (JIT) delivery of Materials in Managing Cost Levels in the Pharmaceutical Industry in Kenya. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Vol. 3(11), pp. 185-196.
Mahammed T. (2018). Assessment Of Pharmaceutical Inventory Management Performance At Health Facilities.
Rossetti CL, Handfield R, Dooley KJ. (2011). Forces, trends, and decisions in pharmaceutical supply chain management. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41(6), pp. 601-622.
Tabash m, Abuqamar m. (2018). Assessment of the status of private and non-governmental pharmaceuticals supply warehouses in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Assessment, Vol. 11(2), pp. 300-307.
Teklay A, Tewodros M. (2018). Barriers in Implementing Green Supply Chain Management in Addis Pharmaceutical Factory, Ethiopia.
USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order 1. Logistics Indicators Assessment Tool (LIAT). Arlington, Va.: USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order 1. 2008.
Van Wassenhove LN. (2006). Humanitarian aid logistics: supply chain management in high gear. Journal of the Operational research Society. Vol. 57(5), pp. 475-89.
Van den Berg JP, Zijm WH. (1999). Models for warehouse management: Classification and examples. International journal of production economics. Vol. 59(1-3), pp. 519-28.
World Health Organization. Guideline for Good Storage Practices in Medical Stores and Hospitals. Ministry of Health and Population, Faculty of Pharmacy. Cairo, Egypt: Cairo University, World Health Organization; 2004. Available from: Files/375_GDP.pdf. [Last accessed on 2017 Feb 17].
Yezid H. (2019). Assessment of Pharmaceutical Warehouse Operation Management in The Case of Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency. Addis Ababa University Institutional Repository: logistics and supply chain management. Available from:
Yousefi N, Alibabaei A. (2015). Information flow in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR, Vol. 14(4), pp. 1299-1303.