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IIT Madras, Krea University study suggests ways to boost medicine supply deliveries

The study was conducted in TN, Kerala, Odisha and Punjab

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Krea University, Chennai, conducted a study that can help states boost medical deliveries. The study showed that fill rates of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha and Punjab could potentially rise to 53 per cent as compared to an average fill rate of 30.95 per cent. 

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These four states were chosen for the study as they were the largest Indian states with the largest populations in the country. Essential medicine procurement in the Indian Public health system is undertaken by the State-level medical service corporations (MSC). Some states, such as Kerala, follow a centralised system, while others like Punjab. Tamil Nadu and Odisha follow a decentralised system, which is a mix of the two. 

The study found that despite the operational, logistic, and infrastructural challenges that exist in the current drug supply system, several measures can be undertaken by state governments to considerably ease the system and address the medicine shortage.

The study focussed on issues that are identified in the procurement process of essential medicines. The medicine procurement data and contract information from the four States were central to the current study.

The study was conducted by Prof RP Sundarraj, Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras, and Prof Vijaya C Subramanian, Department of Operations Management, IFMR-GSB, Krea University. The research was published recently in the reputed peer-reviewed journal Social Science and Medicine.

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