Main Article Content
The role of the public healthcare sector in improving the availability of medicines and medical supplies at all levels of the public health delivery system has never been so important. This paper investigates the barriers in the supply chain management of essential medicines in the public healthcare delivery system in Malawi. The exploratory and descriptive study followed a qualitative case-study approach. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with 12 participants based on a non-probability purposive sample from suppliers of essential medicines, regulators, donors, and logistics companies in Malawi. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed barriers that negatively influence the performance of supply chain management. The barriers identified center around the selection, planning, and sourcing of essential medicines. No previous studies that deal with the identification of barriers in the Malawian pharmaceutical supply chain were found. Therefore, this research makes a twofold contribution to the body of knowledge in the field. Firstly, it identifies the barriers; secondly, it could assist stakeholders in the public healthcare service delivery system in Malawi with regard to how they can improve the supply of essential medicines.