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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2021

Uma Maheswari Devi Parmata and Surya Prakash Chetla

The purpose of this paper is to develop a scale for the measurement of service quality at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the pharmaceutical supply chain and to study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a scale for the measurement of service quality at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the pharmaceutical supply chain and to study the impact of service quality on doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior. Doctors from two major states of South India were selected for the study. A doctor perceived service quality scale with three dimensions having eight items was developed through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the pharmaceutical context. Structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used to show the relationship between service quality, satisfaction and prescribing behavior. The critical factors of service quality were identified, and a model was developed showing the relationship between service quality, doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior which has not been explored in any research. This model will be helpful in further development of new concepts and for analyzing the reasons for the failure of doctors in providing quality service. 

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 200 doctors from three major cities of South India were selected. A doctor perceived service quality scale with three dimensions having eight items was developed through CFA using Parasuraman Service quality scale (Parasuraman, 1985, 1986, 1988) as the basis in the pharmaceutical context after focus group discussions with company experts, retailers, doctors and academicians. SEM technique was used to examine the impact of service quality on doctor’s satisfaction and prescribing behavior.

Findings

There is no universal set of dimensions and items that determine service quality in manufacturing industries, especially at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the pharmaceutical supply chain though service quality plays a very important role in affecting the performance of manufacturing industries. The critical factors affecting the quality of service for a pharmaceutical company at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the supply chain were identified, and its impact on doctor’s satisfaction and their prescribing behavior were studied.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the development of service quality scale for measuring service quality in pharmaceutical manufacturing company, especially with reference to manufacturer–doctor interface of the supply chain which was not thoroughly explored earlier. A model was developed showing the positive relationship between service quality and doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior in pharmaceutical supply chain which is a new concept not proved experimentally.

Practical implications

The study is very useful for the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to identify the service quality factors affecting doctor’s satisfaction and their prescribing behavior thereby leading to development of new measures for improving the performance of the pharmaceutical supply chain. This study can lead to identification of problems involved in pharmaceutical supply chain and also leads to generation of new ideas and development of new concepts for influencing doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior which in turn can help in providing better health.

Social implications

This study actually has a direct impact on the society. If factors affecting doctor’s satisfaction and prescribing behavior are identified automatically, the end consumer, i.e. patient, can be satisfied in a better way, and better medical care can be provided. If doctor’s problems are identified, then better solutions can be provided to patients; this in turn has a lot of positive impact on the pharmaceutical company and society in general.

Originality/value

This research will act as a base for generating ideas relating to how quality service provided by a company will have an impact on doctor’s satisfaction and his prescribing behavior in pharmaceutical supply chain .To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first of its kind of the conceptual aspects of service quality, satisfaction and loyalty explained in terms of pharmaceutical supply chain as service quality, doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior and proved experimentally.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2020

Thanigavelan Jambulingam and Ravi Kathuria

The purpose of this study is to understand the antecedents that influence supply chain coordination in the pharmaceutical supply chain using the transaction cost analysis…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand the antecedents that influence supply chain coordination in the pharmaceutical supply chain using the transaction cost analysis framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 156 retail pharmacies on their relationship with the pharmaceutical wholesalers are used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings of this paper show the importance of antecedents that are based on the transactional cost theory, such as asset specificity and environmental uncertainty. These antecedents impact the supply chain process coordination at different levels – transactional, operational and strategic.

Research limitations/implications

Future research may investigate additional antecedents using other theoretical lenses.

Practical implications

Pharmaceutical wholesalers are dependent on pharmaceutical manufacturers for the supply of products and face intense competition that results in lower profit margins. Given that the pharmaceutical industry is strictly regulated, the wholesaler facilitates regulatory compliance of the manufacturers in the distribution process by coordinating with them. But the wholesalers do also face a constant threat from the manufacturers, who could potentially bypass the wholesalers (disintermediation) and go directly to the pharmacies. To counterbalance the dependence, the wholesalers strive to achieve loyalty with the retail pharmacies. Through supply chain coordination, the wholesalers achieve efficiency in procurement for the pharmacies, thus reducing cost and improving their competitive advantage.

Social implications

Supply chain coordination in the pharmaceutical supply chain improves the safety and security of the pharmaceutical distribution system.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the supply chain coordination stream of literature. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to develop the three levels of process coordination in the pharmaceutical supply chain context. This paper shows how process coordination can be achieved between the dyad without vertical integration.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2018

Md. Abdul Moktadir, Syed Mithun Ali, Sachin Kumar Mangla, Tasnim Ahmed Sharmy, Sunil Luthra, Nishikant Mishra and Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

Managing risks is becoming a highly focused activity in the health service sector. In particular, due to the complex nature of processes in the pharmaceutical industry…

Abstract

Purpose

Managing risks is becoming a highly focused activity in the health service sector. In particular, due to the complex nature of processes in the pharmaceutical industry, several risks have been associated to its supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the risks occurring in the supply chains of the pharmaceutical industry and propose a decision model, based on the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, for evaluating risks in pharmaceutical supply chains (PSCs).

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed model was developed based on the Delphi method and AHP techniques. The Delphi method helped to select the relevant risks associated to PSCs. A total of 16 sub risks within four main risks were identified through an extensive review of the literature and by conducting a further investigation with experts from five pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh. AHP contributed to the analysis of the risks and determination of their priorities.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that supply-related risks such as fluctuation in imports arrival, lack of information sharing, key supplier failure and non-availability of materials should be prioritized over operational, financial and demand-related risks.

Originality/value

This work is one of the initial contributions in the literature that focused on identifying and evaluating PSC risks in the context of Bangladesh. This research work can assist practitioners and industrial managers in the pharmaceutical industry in taking proactive action to minimize its supply chain risks. To the end, the authors performed a sensitivity analysis test, which gives an understanding of the stability of ranking of risks.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 118 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Sameer Kumar, Erin Dieveney and Aaron Dieveney

The aim of this paper is to analyze the pharmaceutical supply chain using the DMAIC process for improvement of the reverse logistics in a recall to avert the possibility…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to analyze the pharmaceutical supply chain using the DMAIC process for improvement of the reverse logistics in a recall to avert the possibility of harm to a consumer.

Design/methodology/approach

A framework is used for guiding one towards the responsibilities of the different organizations concerning reverse logistics. This is further developed into a Cause and Effect analysis, performed on the supply chain and the hypothesized problem areas. Improvement concepts were then considered in the use of RFID, consistent information systems and transportation carriers to streamline the supply chain and reducing the risk of counterfeit drugs entering the forward supply chain. FMEA is used to understand the failure modes and the severity of the respective failures in the reverse logistics supply chain.

Findings

The study yielded interesting and innovative solutions being tested and conceived at the present time, but specific information on the pharmaceutical supply chain was limited. The majority of the reverse logistics for pharmaceuticals is handled through third‐party providers, and therefore this specific knowledge is well guarded, being a core competency.

Practical implications

The improvement concepts were found to have managerial impacts such as improved communication flow, and dedicated group(s) to focus on the reverse logistics to remove miscommunication and perception errors. The ability to make improvements, as well as sustain the improvements, will also require significant and consistent management support.

Originality/value

The study is a first look at the forward and reverse logistics processes for the pharmaceutical industry supply chain and analysis of potential improvements utilizing DMAIC process. It helps in understanding gaps, suggests measures to reduce them and provides direction for improvements related to the quality of service existing between logistics users, logistics service provider, pharmaceutical firm and customers. The methods of analysis used can also be utilized as a diagnostic tool to understand the weaknesses in the existing supply chain and thus help in identifying the key areas for improvements within the organization.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Uma Maheswari Devi Parmata, Sankara Rao B. and Rajashekhar B.

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the services marketing literature by developing a scale based on Parasuraman’s SERVQUAL scale for the measurement of distributor…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the services marketing literature by developing a scale based on Parasuraman’s SERVQUAL scale for the measurement of distributor perceived service quality at the distributor–manufacturer interface of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review and discussions with experts, a questionnaire was designed basing on the widely used service quality measurement scale (SERVQUAL). Personal survey was conducted among selected distributors spread over three major cities of the Indian pharmaceutical market. The study used the exploratory factor analysis to identify the critical factors of service quality followed by the confirmatory factor analysis (AMOS 20).

Findings

A valid scale with four dimensions – (reliability, assurance, responsiveness and communication) and 13 items for measuring the distributor perceived service quality was developed which also satisfied all the reliability and validity tests. The findings of the present study indicate that distributor perceived service quality has an effect on satisfaction.

Practical implications

The proposed scale is an attempt to explore the less researched area. This study will give further insights to researchers to measure service quality at different phases of the pharmaceutical supply chain. The study is limited to three cities; it can be extended to other regions of the country. This study will be helpful to the practicing managers to measure the service quality and improve the performance in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Social implications

Service quality in pharmaceutical supply chain is very important, as it directly effects the health of the people, so the proposed scale can be used to control the quality of service.

Originality/value

The scale developed in this study can also be used for measuring distributor perceived service quality in other manufacturing sectors. This research provides direction and scope for further research to develop new concepts and models in measuring service quality in the supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Rajesh Kr. Singh, Ravinder Kumar and Pravin Kumar

In the present context of a health-concious society, management of pharmaceutical supply chains has become more complex because it involves the life-saving interest of…

Abstract

Purpose

In the present context of a health-concious society, management of pharmaceutical supply chains has become more complex because it involves the life-saving interest of human being and requires the participation of different stakeholders such as pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, customers, information service providers and regulatory agencies. Limited research is available in the area of pharmaceutical supply chains. This paper aims to find the gaps in the literature by reviewing research papers on different strategic issues of supply chain management in the pharmaceutical sector.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 136 research papers, mainly from refereed international journals, were reviewed to identify the issues of supply chain management (SCM) in the pharmaceutical supply chain. On the basis of a review, gaps are identified and research agenda is proposed.

Findings

It is observed from review that the pharmaceutical sector is not widely researched in developing countries because of many complexities in this supply chain. The share of pharmaceutical firms in the global market is also not very significant. Based on an extensive review of pharmaceutical supply chains, research gaps are identified in different areas such as inventory management, new product development, process development, capacity planning, network design, plant design, pipeline and development management, outsourcing logistics activities, reverse logistics, Lean manufacturing, green SCM and implementation of E-business processes and performance management. These strategic issues have been further classified into three broad categories, i.e. resources, processes and performance.

Originality/value

This paper explores major strategic areas of pharmaceutical supply chains for research. Findings of the paper will be highly useful for researchers to decide direction of future research.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Saswati Tripathi, Krishnamachari Rangarajan and Bijoy Talukder

Pharmaceutical industry involves highly specialized business processes where strong research and development focus along with market differentiation and localization are…

Abstract

Purpose

Pharmaceutical industry involves highly specialized business processes where strong research and development focus along with market differentiation and localization are the deciders of success. This has led to evolution of segments and complexities in supply chain. This paper aims to focus on segmental differences in supply chain performance of Indian Pharmaceutical firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper measures supply chain performance of select segmental players of the pharmaceutical industry using financial metrics and supply chain operations reference (SCOR) key performance indicators through a five-year timeline. The best performance results are compared across the segments to identify unique performance features, if any. The sample results are validated through hypothesis testing methodology.

Findings

This paper has evidenced that the innovators segment is performing better in cash-to-cash cycle time and supply chain working capital productivity, whereas generics segment is doing better in distribution cost efficiency and total cost to serve aspects.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on historical financial data of firms and measures the firm focused supply chain performance. The results may not be generalized in a global context but serve as a motivator for other researchers to take similar studies. The paper may further be analyzed with primary data of the firms to understand the segmental difference in customer focus supply chain performance measures.

Practical implications

This paper has brought out important segmental supply chain performance features of the Indian pharmaceutical firms and identified segment-specific problems by integrating SCOR KPIs and financial metrics.

Originality/value

This paper has integrated both SCOR KPIs and financial metrics to provide unique insights on segmental differences in the performance behavior of pharmaceutical supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Gholamhossein Mehralian, Forouzandeh Zarenezhad and Ali Rajabzadeh Ghatari

The purpose of this study is to develop a model for an agile supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry. In a continuous changing global competitive environment, an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a model for an agile supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry. In a continuous changing global competitive environment, an organization’s supply chain agility directly impacts its ability to produce and deliver novel products to its customers in a timely and cost-effective manner. While the beneficial effect of supply chain agility is generally appreciated, the literature addressing how a pharmaceutical company can achieve supply chain agility is limited.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzes the three parts of pharmaceutical supply chain including supply of active pharmaceutical ingredient, manufacturing and distribution based on the supply chain operations reference model to assess agile supply chains by using three diverse questionnaires. In addition, to prioritize critical factors, TOPSIS (technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution) algorithm as a common technique of multiple attribute decision-making (MADM) model has been used.

Findings

Achieving supply chain agility is dependent on other capabilities; including flexibility, responsibility, competency and quickness. Findings reveal several factors identified as critical factors to being agile in each part of pharmaceutical supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

This research was challenged with some limitations such as novelty of the subject in this environment, and the lake of data in this area is also another constraint.

Originality/value

This is an initial and pioneering study to highlight the importance of agility concept in the pharmaceutical industry. The present study also provides a new aspect of supply chain management for such industry, and would be a good topic for further research. Finally, this study contributes to highlight and prioritize factors involved in this area.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Emre Göllü

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of supply chain structure on market share and the differences between supply chain structures and market shares of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of supply chain structure on market share and the differences between supply chain structures and market shares of companies in terms of product originality in the pharmaceutical industry.

Design/methodology/approach

In the design of this research, survey methodology was selected to collect the data. Convenience sampling technique and, as data collection instrument, a questionnaire including dichotomous scales were utilized.

Findings

Obtained results showed that supply chain structures of pharmaceutical companies in Turkey have a significant impact on their market shares. Other results indicate that there are significant differences between both supply chain structures and market shares in terms of product originality.

Research limitations/implications

There are three limitations, namely, the study focused on only one sector, convenience sampling method was used in conjunction with Pareto approach and the study encompasses Turkey only.

Practical implications

Practitioners will benefit from this study through conceptualizing the impact of supply chain structure on market share and the relationships between these both and product originality in terms of creating competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The importance of this study lies on the investigation of supply chain structure with its impact on market share from supply chain management perspective and on the combination of the relationships between these both constructs and product originality as from management perspective in the pharmaceutical industry as first time.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2019

Nirmal Kumar and Ajeya Jha

Pharmaceuticals supply chain management (SCM) requires special expertise to transport the medicinal products because of weird features of their demand, supply and…

Abstract

Purpose

Pharmaceuticals supply chain management (SCM) requires special expertise to transport the medicinal products because of weird features of their demand, supply and sensitivity towards quality. The purpose of this study is to establish the linkage of pharmaceutical quality system requirements with the SCM principles. The study enables the collaborative approach of technical, transport, logistics and supply chain teams within the pharmaceutical industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology followed for this study is literature review and survey. The study is supplemented with data obtained through the structured questionnaire.

Findings

Through this study, an exclusive perspective for pharmaceutical good transportation practice (GTP) has been propagated in alignment with seven principles of SCM by Anderson. This study offers guidance to pharmaceutical industry for transportation of products by conceptualizing basic supply chain features such as segmentation, customization of requirement, market signals, differentiation, technology orientation and channel spanning performance.

Research limitations/implications

Here is limited information available about the transportation failures in the pharmaceutical industry. Application of supply chain principles to pharmaceutical transportation is sometimes affected by technical knowledge bias of the researcher.

Practical implications

The study has successfully expounded the practical aspects of pharmaceutical GTP for supply chain professionals.

Social implications

The study facilitates the patients and pharmaceutical consumers to get quality products in a timely manner across the globe.

Originality/value

The application of SCM principles to the pharmaceutical GTP is the result of novel research and has not been studied earlier.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

Keywords

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