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Reverse logistics for the end-of-life and end-of-use products in the pharmaceutical industry: a systematic literature review

Elaine Aparecida Regiani de Campos (Department of Industrial Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Istefani Carisio de Paula (Department of Industrial Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Regina Negri Pagani (Department of Industrial Engineering, Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPR), Ponta Grossa, Brazil)
Patricia Guarnieri (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economy, Business Administration and Accounting, University of Brasilia (UnB), Brasília, Brazil)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to develop a systematic literature review (SLR) aiming to identify reverse logistics (RL) concepts and practices applied to the end-of-life (EOL) and end-of-use (EOU) of pharmaceuticals and to identify and synthesize, through bibliometric indicators, research opportunities on RL, considering the analysis of publications in the periodical Supply Chain Management: An International Journal (SCMij).

Design/methodology/approach

The SLR followed two steps, namely, search for articles on the subject and content analysis of selected material and bibliometric analysis of publications using VOSviewer®.

Findings

The SLR allowed the compilation of evidences regarding pharmaceutical RL in the groups: environmental risk, the RL evolution and regulatory and stakeholder’s educational perspective. Despite the timid specific literature on pharmaceutical RL, it was also possible to point out research gaps and opportunities. Pharmaceutical RL seems to be influenced by studies from traditional RL including mathematical modeling, managerial strategies and technologies but prescind of a systemic solution. Besides reducing environmental impact, the motivation to implement pharmaceutical RL resides in its potential for revenue. Considering integrated logistics as a trend and an emerging issue, RL for the pharmaceutical industry needs to be addressed more thorough and broadly.

Research limitations/implications

The limited number of papers returned in this SLR of pharmaceutical RL impaired the bibliometric analysis of them, leading to the inclusion of papers on general RL.

Originality/value

This study provides an overview of the evolution of RL in the pharmaceutical industry, it also clarifies concepts and EOL/EOU practices, particularly directed to the pharmaceutical industry RL.

Keywords

Citation

Campos, E.A.R.d., Paula, I.C.d., Pagani, R.N. and Guarnieri, P. (2017), "Reverse logistics for the end-of-life and end-of-use products in the pharmaceutical industry: a systematic literature review", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 375-392. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-01-2017-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited