African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2281

Article in Press

Medicine Expiry, Contributing Factors, and disposal practices in selected Public Health Facilities of South Gondar Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia: a mixed method study

Getu Tesfaw Addis, Abraham Nigussie and Yohannes Shumet Yimer

  •  Received: 05 July 2022
  •  Accepted: 05 September 2022
The high availability of expired medicines is not only a burden to the healthcare system but also indicates the existence of a supply chain gap. To determine the prevalence of expired drugs, contributing factors and disposal practices in the selected public healthcare facilities in the South Gondar Zone, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. This was a mixed-method study design, in which the quantitative component preceded the qualitative component. A hospital-based retrospective study involving a review of 2017/2018 records, from 25 public health facilities was conducted to collect quantitative data on previous records of expired medicines were used to establish the type and financial value of expired medicines, and Microsoft Excel was used for data analysis. Qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews with the key informants and analyzed thematically. Eighteen key informants, from the studied health facilities were also interviewed to explore the main reasons for medicine expiry and the disposal practices applied. Medicines worth $ 83,327.21 expired, giving an expiry rate of 6.45% in 2017/18. Of these, anti-infectives were the most commonly expired. Delivery of medicines through the push system and delivery of medicines nearing expiry were identified as major reasons. Burning and pouring IV fluids into the hole were the most frequently used methods to dispose of unused medicines. Delivery of medicines with short expiry date and without considering the demand of health care facilities contributes to the expiry of the medicines with the extent of 6.4%, and loss of $83,327.21 valued medicines. Most health facilities preferred burning and flashing of the above expired drug for removing from the stock. To reduce drug expiry, delivery should be based on consumption that has a longer shelf life and the most effective communication. In addition, the safe disposal of expired medicine must be in accordance with the national standard drug management guidelines.

Keywords: Expired Medicine, Medicine Wastage, Disposal Methods, Public Health Facility, Ethiopia