Vietnam has rolled out an integration national drug supply chain management system to control the supply of medicine as well as sales of drugs. Information technology projects can be challenging and Vietnam seems to be no exception.


Apparently, some localities cannot connect, including private pharmacies in various districts, reports the Hanoi Health Department. Additionally, Vietnamplus reports new drug-related information is not fully and consistently updated into the system, which represents a considerable problem.


A spot inspection at 70 drug stores connected to the system found some material inconsistences as some pharmacies had updated information while others did not. In what appears to be management and training issues, some pharmacies are not proficiently using the software.

Planning (or Lack Thereof)

Major information technology projects must be sufficiently planned. This means that hardware and software compatibility (among many other things) needs to be worked out and planned.  But obstacles post implementation include pharmacies having access problems due to a number of issues, such as outdated computer systems, network access, and information security concerns.

Fragmented Pharmacy Management Software

Apparently in Vietnam, different pharmacies use different pharmacy software from vendors such as Vittel, Vietnam Posts, Telecommunications, and EFFECT company. The national drug supply chain management system would need to be standards-based, so that the various pharmacy location software applications could seamlessly interface with the new national system. That apparently has been challenging. Hanoi has over 6,900 pharmacies (the largest in the country) and thus far 86.8% of the pharmacies are connected to the system.

Drug Supply and Safety

This new system is vital for the drug supply for Vietnam. After all, the system maintains a list of about 60,000 medications, of which 52,000 are updated to date. This is how local pharmacies identify the origin of the medicines, quality, source, and price not to mention expiration. The sooner that all of the drugs are loaded in the system and all the pharmacies are seamlessly connected, the sooner various risks associated with lack of a working system diminish.

Source: VietnamPlus

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