Saturday, April 4 2020


Pharmacies struggle with drug management system

Update: September, 11/2019 - 08:13


A drugstore on Hà Nội's Ngọc Khánh Street. Many difficulties arise in connection with the national drug supply chain management system. Photo

HÀ NỘI Thousands of pharmacies in Hà Nội have connected to the national drug supply chain management system which helps control the supply of medicine and sales of drugs.

However, it hasn't all been smooth sailing.

Some localities have not completed the connection, including private pharmacies in Thanh Oai, Quốc Oai, Thanh Trì and Sóc Sơn districts, according to the Hà Nội Health Department.

New drug-related information has not been fully and regularly updated on the management system. 

A recent inspection at 70 drugstores connected to the system found some pharmacies have not updated information sufficiently and regularly.

Some have not yet used computer software proficiently.

Trần Văn Chung, the city health department’s deputy director, said there were problems in the use of the system, including obstacles in pharmacies due to faulty or outdated computer systems, network access and concern about information security.

He also said linkages with the national management system also faced many difficulties due to the lack of a standard and compatible application.

Pharmacies across the country are using different software supplied by information technology companies such as Viettel, Việt Nam Posts and Telecommunications and EFFECT company.

Quách Thanh Hiền, the owner of a drugstore in Đống Đa District, said she was using Viettel software, but her internet connection was always slow.

“It takes a lot of time if I want to change to other software. It requires a lot of administrative procedures,” Hiền told Kinh Tế&Đô Thị (Economy and Urban Affairs) newspaper.

Nguyễn Thị Bằng, an officer of a health facility in Chương Mỹ District, said the connection with the national management system was also facing many difficulties due to some workers' limited computer skills.

Many small pharmacy owners in the village were not interested in connecting to the system because they only sold a small quantity of medicine and made little profit, Bằng said.

With more than 6,900, Hà Nội has the largest number of pharmacies in the country. So far, 86.8 per cent of them have connected to the management system.

The system has updated a list of about 52,000 out of 60,000 medicines, helping identify the origin of the medicines. New information is updated to the system every day, according to the Ministry of Health.

Information about drugs on the market, including quality, source and price, is available in the system, and local residents can check the origin of medicine as well as expiration dates. VNS

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