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Factsheet: Stockouts of Essential Medicines

What are stock-outs?

When a pharmacy (in a medical store or health facility) temporarily has no medicine on the shelf, it is known as a “stock-out”. It may affect one medicine or many medicines, or in the worst case, all medicines. A stock-out can be documented at one point-in-time or over a period of days, weeks or months. When there is good stock management systems in place, the stock-out duration will be minimal or, ideally, never.

The consequences of stock-outs for patients are grave:

  • They have to travel to other health facilities or private sector which may be far away and often many times more expensive… or
  • They may go without the medicines they need.
  • They may get an alternative, appropriate or not, medicine.
  • They lose confidence in the health facility to meet their needs.

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Contact Information

Health Action International (HAI) Africa Office
4th Floor, Top Plaza off Kindaruma Road Suite 4-2
P.O Box Nairobi - Kenya
Tel: +254 20 2692973 ext 108, Cell phone: + 254 0733 398654.
E-mail:info@haiafrica.org, Web:http:// www.haiafrica.org