The Scarce Drugs Allocation Indicators in Iran: A Fuzzy Delphi Method Based Consensus

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Health Policy Research Center, Shiraz, Iran.

3 school of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Sciences and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

4 School of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Sciences and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Objective: Almost all countries are affected by a variety of drug-supply problems and spend a considerable amount of time and resources to address shortages. The current study aims to reach a consensus on the scarce drug allocation measures to improve the allocation process of scarce drugs in Iran by a population needs-based approach.
Methods: To achieve the objective, two phases were conducted. Firstly, a set of population-based indicators of needs were identified by reviewing the literature and were scrutinized by fifty academics/executives who were specialists in pharmaceutical resource allocation. In the second phase, the Delphi technique was performed to finalize the indicators.
Findings: The yield of literature review step was about 20 indicators. Based on the results of the first questionnaire, 13 indicators were added to the Delphi phase. Then, in Delphi phase, the consensus was built after three Rounds. In addition to the burden of endemic, special, rare, and incurable diseases, traumatic diseases and total population of each province were the main measures. Furthermore, total mortality rates and the number of pharmacies in each province were on the border; hence, the monitoring team made the decision about inclusion or exclusion of such indicators. Other measures were in the range of 'important' ones.
Conclusion: To reach a higher effective and efficient process of resource allocation, the paper suggests the use of a population needs-based approach in Iran's pharmaceutical sector. The scarce drug allocation indicators extracted in this study can make a considerable contribution to preventing, controlling, and mitigating drug shortages.

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