Pharmaceutical supply chains and management innovation?

Marina Papalexi, David Bamford, Alexandros Nikitas, Liz Breen, Nicoleta Tipi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate the implementation of innovative programmes within the downstream domain of the pharmaceutical supply chain (PSC), with the aim of informing improved service provision.
Design/methodology/approach – A mixed-method approach was used to assess to what extent innovation could be adopted by hospital and community pharmacies to improve the delivery process of pharmaceutical products. Unstructured interviews and 130 questionnaires were collected and analysed to identify factors that facilitate or prevent innovation within PSC processes.
Findings – The analysis led to the creation of the innovative pharmaceutical supply chain framework (IPSCF) that provides guidance to health-care organisations about how supply chain management problems could be addressed by implementing innovative approaches. The results also indicated that the implementation of Lean and Reverse Logistics (RL) practices, supported by integrated information technology systems, can help health-care organisations to enhance their delivery in terms of quality (products and service quality), visibility (knowledge and information sharing), speed (response to customers and suppliers needs) and cost (minimisation of cost and waste).
Practical implications – The study’s recommendations have potential implications for supply chain theory and practice, particularly for pharmacies in terms of innovation adoption. The IPSCF provides guidance to pharmacies and health-care organisations to develop more efficient and effective supply chain strategies.
Originality/value – This research contributes to the academic literature as it adds novel theoretical insights to highly complex delivery process innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-508
Number of pages24
JournalSupply Chain Management
Issue number4
Early online date23 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022


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