Supply Chain Management main glossary

This is a glossary of key terms used throughout the site.

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Batch release

A batch release or lot release is a procedure by which different batches are tested to assess if they meet all the required product specifications as defined by the relevant standards.

Bid security

Bid security is a form of financial guarantee where the bidder is required to make a deposit at the time of submission of a bid or tender. Bid security is a safeguard against withdrawal of bids before the end of the bid validity period or a refusal to sign the contract.

Buffer stock

Buffer stock or safety stock is the amount of stock that is kept in reserve in case an item is unavailable from the supplier or a sudden increase in demand occurs. This amount may be determined as x times the average monthly consumption, or calculated as a percentage of the annual quantity consumed, depending on the country and system.


Certificate of analysis

A certificate of analysis (CoA) is a document that certifies the different tests and results for a batch of finished pharmaceutical products (FPP) against product specifications. The information is verified by the head of the department of quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) and is used for batch release.

Cold chain

Cold chain is the supply chain which deals with the management of temperature-sensitive products, such as vaccines. Cold chain is a delicate part of the health supply chain. If the quality of medicines is compromised during transport and storage through exposure to inappropriate conditions, patients and end users may suffer adverse consequences.

Cold storage

Cold storage refers to facilities or containers where medicines or health products are stored that are temperature-sensitive. Temperature range of cold storage normally is 2-8 °C. It is an important part of the cold chain. Cold storage contrasts with aircon storage where temperature stays under 23 °C or with ambient storage where products are stored at room temperature.

Complementary and alternative medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to healthcare practices that are not part of a country's own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant healthcare system.

Counterfeit medicines

Counterfeit medicines are medicines made by someone other than the genuine manufacturer and refer to products that are deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled with respect to identity and/or source. Counterfeiting can occur for both branded and generic products and not only affects public health but also violates intellectual property rights.

Cultural awareness

Cultural awareness is the understanding of how a person's culture may shape their values, behaviour, beliefs and basic assumptions. It is an essential skill in the provision of culturally appropriate services in the health sector and supply chain management. 


Data sources

Data sources are the sources used to obtain data needed for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the supply chain. These may include, among many others, official government documents, data from the logistics management information system, data from the health management information system, clinic administrative records, staff or provider information, client-visit registers, interview data, sentinel-surveillance systems, and satellite imagery.

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