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Key determinants of quality in the pharmaceutical supply chain

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2021, 10:37 by Muhammad Tayyab, Muhammad Usman Awan, Nadeem Irfan Bukhari, Ehsan SabetEhsan Sabet
Empirical studies on the supply chain quality management (SCQM) of the pharmaceutical sector are scarce and scattered. This paper investigates a set of key quality determinants in the pharmaceutical sector to offer a holistic quality control framework for its supply chain (SC).

A mixed-method design was used. A focused group discussion with seven pharmaceutical SC managers summarized the narratives of the SCQM in this sector and helped to develop a questionnaire. The survey data were collected from the managers of 299 pharmaceutical firms.

The statistical results show the key determinants are leadership (LS), customer focus (CF), process integration and management (PIM), supplier relations (SR), quality practice (QP), human resource practices (HRP) and safety (SF). Unlike many other sectors, in the pharmaceutical SC, logistics and inventory costs have been proved to be not as important as other measures in the eyes of the SC managers and as part of SCQM performance measures, which can be a result of the priority systems influenced by the World Health Organization standards.

The study is distinctive in its scope as is carried out in a developing country with focus on concept of SCQM with reference to pharmaceutical SC. It shows great potential for further studies and improvements in logistics and warehousing in this sector, for the interest of the pharmaceutical SC managers and regulators who aim to ensure safety and quality in the health-care sector.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management


Emerald Publishing Limited


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Emerald Publishing Limited

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management and the definitive published version is available at

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Dr Ehsan Sabet. Deposit date: 13 April 2021