Supply Chain Management main glossary

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

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Outputs are the immediate results of activities achieved by an activity or program. They usually follow from the specific objectives of a program. When they are clearly quantified, and when their baseline and target values are set, they are the main source for monitoring.


Overstock is the situation where products are stocked in excessive quantities (above the maximum stock level). Overstock is a nefarious situation in the supply chain cycle, as it leads to a waste of the often limited financial resources available.


Performance guarantee

A performance guarantee is a financial guarantee that can be asked from a successful bidder or supplier once a purchase order or contract has been awarded. This guarantee is usually a percentage of the total contract value and can be accepted in various forms.

Performance-based financing

Performance-based financing is a system of donor funding where cash or non-monetary benefits are provided against measurable actions or achievement.


Pharmacopoeia is the name given to a set of quality specifications for pharmaceutical products. These specifications refer to the active ingredients of the medicines, the excipients, and dosage forms. Normally, they also include general methods of analysis of the specifications.

Pooled procurement

Pooled procurement is the name for the purchase of products done by one procurement office on behalf of a group of clients (in the health supply chain, these can be health facilities, or countries). Members of the group agree to purchase certain medicines exclusively through the group.

Post-marketing surveillance

Post-marketing (or post-market) surveillance refers to the operations that monitor the safety of a medicine or medical product after its release on the market. Post-market surveillance is an important part of pharmacovigilance, and widens the control study of the safety of a medicine from a limited number of clinical trial participants to the general population.

Public health expenditure

Public health expenditure consists of recurrent and capital spending in the health sector from government budgets, external borrowings, donations, and social health insurance funds. When added to the private health expenditure, one gets the total health expenditure of a country.


Quality assurance

Quality assurance is a wide-ranging concept covering all activities that individually or collectively influence the quality of a pharmaceutical product. The aim is to ensure that medicines reaching the patient are safe, effective and of a defined quality.

Quality control

Quality control refers to the sum of all procedures undertaken to ensure the identity and purity of a particular pharmaceutical product. Such procedures may range from the performance of simple experiments to determine the identity, to the more complicated requirements of pharmacopoeial monographs.

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