Security Management. (MDS-3: Managing Access to Medicines and Health Technologies, Chapter 43)
(2012; 13 pages)


Security breaches include theft, bribery, and fraud. They can have a substantial, and sometimes disastrous, economic and health effects. A comprehensive security system includes -

  • Analysis of the sources of security breaches
  • Determination of methods to improve security
  • Consideration of costs and savings
  • Implementation of security measures

Security breaches can be found through a mix of informal and formal investigations, independent inventory counts, consumption comparisons, and surveys of medicine outlets.

The conditions that lead to theft often include -

  • Shortage of the products in the market or at service provision points
  • High product demand
  • High product value and hence a good open market for the product
  • Economic conditions that lead people to market stolen products
  • Weak security measures that make theft easy

Theft prevention may require -

  • Providing unique identifiers for all pharmaceutical supplies
  • Dealing with the sources of theft
  • Closing the outlets for stolen medicines
  • Improving record keeping and instituting a perpetual inventory control system
  • Improving salaries for staff members who handle medicines
  • Controlling access to the storage facility

Controlling bribery requires mechanisms to prevent suppliers from influencing the choice of medicines, purchase quantities, and selection of suppliers.

Fraud control requires close attention to quality assurance procedures and routine stock control procedures. Security measures may be expensive, but they are often very cost-effective.

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