Supplying medicines to refugees: a logistical nightmare

by Elizabeth Sukkar
The Pharmaceutical Journal, 28 February 2015, Vol. 294, No. 7851, online

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During conflicts, humanitarian bodies not only face the obvious security risks of reaching people in need, they also have to deal with the growing bureaucracy involved in getting medicines to them. They are seeing increased red tape around the supply of medicines in countries hosting refugees. These bodies prefer to source medicines centrally in cost-effective terms on the international markets. However, the bureaucracy around importing their medicines, as well as complying with local country requirements, is adding to the complexity of providing much needed medicines to refugees in and around conflict zones, restricting humanitarian organisations to purchasing medicines on local markets. The quality of the locally bought medicines, however, cannot always be assured, and there can be limited supplies and drug shortages.

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