General Guidelines for a Manual on Drug Procurement and Distribution Appropriate for Developing Countries
(1988; 24 pages) [French]


Clear national drug policies have first to be formulated, since no drug management system is workable in the absence of such policies. In developing drug management systems or improving on existing ones, four problem areas have been identified, namely:

  1. Selection and determination of requirements of essential drugs;
  2. Procurement;
  3. Distribution;
  4. Utilization.

While the first problem area has received much attention and generated much activity, leading to the concept of an essential drugs list and its acceptance and implementation in many countries thus testifying to its usefulness, the second and third problem areas have retarded the efforts of some countries to improve curative services and to provide Primary health care in rural areas – peripheral areas have been termed the front-line areas in a country’s health system. In any country situation, it is necessary that the selection of essential drugs and the requirements be determined as the first step to considering systems of procurement and distribution.

This paper seeks to focus on guidelines for the establishment and strengthening of national programmes relating to the above-mentioned two areas of concern by summarizing current prevailing systems being practised, by indicating the main requirements in terms of facilities, procedures, and manpower resources to implement and operate these suggested systems.

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