Determinants of out-of-Stock Syndrome in a Public Hospital in Southern Nigeria in a bid to ensure Continuous Medicines Availability


  • Kingsley Chiedu Amibor Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria
  • Angela Omoikhefue Obaseki Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria
  • Onochie Ifeyinwa Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria


Continuous medicines availability public hospital


Background: Out of stock syndrome is gradually charactering public hospitals in Nigeria. Ensuring continuous medicines availability in hospitals will reduce incidences of purchase of fake and substandard medicines from the open drug market. This study evaluated the status of the Drug Revolving Fund in a public hospital, factors responsible for out-of-stock syndrome in the hospital, as well as recommendations to ensure continuous medicines availability.

Method: These were achieved through use of pre-tested questionnaires administered to 60 pharmacists at Federal Medical Centre, Asaba in July, 2022. Questionnaire evaluated demographics of respondents, status of DRF in the hospital, factors responsible for shortage of medicines and recommendations on how to overcome the shortage. Data obtained were analyzed using SPSS Version Descriptive and chi square statistics were obtained. P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: 60 questionnaires distributed, 58 were returned, response rate was 96.7%. Majority (43.1%) were aged 21 to 29 years, female (58.6%), married (48.3%), in practice for 1 to 5 years (31.0%). Half (58.6%) were sole holders of Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree, a third (39.7%) were interns. DRF was functioning partially, factors responsible for medicines shortage ranged from DRF was not being properly funded (P= 0.001), poor inventory management (P= 0.047), delay in supply from DRF stores (P= 0.001), lack of electronic management systems (P= 0.005), inadequate staffing (P= 0.005) poorly trained stores officers (P = 0.011). Recommendations to improve availability include: DRF should be properly funded (P = 0.048), public hospitals to begin producing medicines locally (P = 0.009),government should expedite action on take-off of National Drug Distribution Guidelines (P = 0.000). Majority (72.2%) agreed DRF remains best system for making medicines continuously available.

Conclusion: Factors responsible for medicines shortage were elucidated in this study, as well as recommendations to ensure continuous availability. Proper funding of DRF by hospital management is recommended. Hospitals should commence local production of essential medicines. Government should ensure speedy implementation of National Drug Distribution Guidelines to ensure reduction in availability of substandard medicines. 


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How to Cite

Amibor, K. C., Obaseki, A. O., & Ifeyinwa, O. (2023). Determinants of out-of-Stock Syndrome in a Public Hospital in Southern Nigeria in a bid to ensure Continuous Medicines Availability: The Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy, 57(1), 421–434. Retrieved from