Supply Chain Management main glossary

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

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Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine, including herbs, herbal materials and preparations, are products that contain plant materials or combinations of plants as active ingredients. Herbalism is the practice of making or prescribing plant-based herbal remedies for medical conditions and is considered a form of alternative medicine.

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Dans le contexte de la quantification des médicaments, les hypothèses sont l'ensemble des suppositions qui sont émises pour justifier la démarche prise, pour prendre en compte la qualité des données utilisées, et pour compenser les données non disponibles. Autour de ces suppositions, un consensus doit être dégagé par les membres de l'équipe de quantification.

Entry link: Hypothèses



Indicators are quantitative or qualitative signals of performance that are being measured to demonstrate change and to detail the extent to which program results are being achieved. Indicators can be measured at each phase of a program or process.

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Integrative medicine

Integrative medicine refers to the blending of conventional medicines and natural or complementary therapies along with lifestyle interventions in a holistic approach, taking into account the physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being of the person.

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International Chemical Reference Substances

International chemical reference substances (ICRS) are substances used by laboratories to validate the results from specific tests of medicines or pharmaceuticals, which are conducted as part of the quality control.

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International reference prices

International reference prices (IRP) is an indicative list of prices of medicines compiled from publicly available data from various sources. The most well-known IRP is the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) International Drug Price Indicator. It is regularly updated, and features the median price of a large number of medicines gathered from manufacturers, wholesalers, international organisations and government. More information on their webpage.

Entry link: International reference prices

Inventory control

Inventory control is concerned with the inventory of stock present in the warehouse. It monitors what products are in stock, how many, where in the warehouse they are located, and their condition. It also aims at minimising the cost of filling customer orders through an efficient lay-out and placement. Inventory control is a part of broader inventory management.

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Inventory management

Inventory management can be defined as all activities carried out to maintain the optimum quantity of each inventory item. It includes inventory control, but is broader as it also encompasses the activities of quantification and procurement planning, determining when to order products, how much to order and the most effective source of supply for each item in the warehouse.

Entry link: Inventory management


Lead time

The lead time is the time between when a product is ordered, and when it is received and available. The meaning of the term can differ slightly depending on the agent or organisation involved. Procurement lead time is the time between when the order is placed and when the goods are received in the country. For a health facility, the lead time is the time between when the request for stock is placed with the central medical store in the country, and when the goods are received at the facility.

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Logical framework

A logical framework is a dynamic planning and management tool that makes logical correlations between the main elements of a program and project design and helps ensure that an intervention is likely to achieve measurable results.

Entry link: Logical framework

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