Drug shortage is a worldwide problem, which gained the attention of many authorities in recent years including the Egyptian government. The problem has markedly increased in Egypt during the past few years and has had a significant negative impact on patient care with subsequent costly financial implications. Despite the importance of the drug shortage problem and its consequences on the health of Egyptians and society as a whole, only a few researchers have addressed the topic in Egypt. This qualitative study aims at filling the gap and providing a better understanding of the problem in the Egyptian context. To achieve the study objective, the root causes of the problem and the actions taken by the government to mitigate the problem are explored. In-depth, semi-structured interviews are carried out with different stakeholders including from government, industry, distributors, and pharmacies. The findings of this research revealed that the drug shortage is attributed to a myriad of interlinked causes. The most critical causes of drug shortages are as follows: the drug pricing constraints, the devaluation, economic changes, overdependence on the importation of production inputs, illegal distribution practices, excessive bureaucracy and complicated procedures, manufacturing problems, poor supply chain management, and scarcity of raw materials. The findings also show that although the government has exerted many efforts to tackle drug shortages, there is still a gap to be addressed. Based on experiences of other countries and according to the Egyptian context, solutions are proposed to help in mitigating drug shortages in Egypt which include enhancing the sustainability of the production of medicines by improving companies’ profitability, improving collaboration between various stakeholders, developing a system for reporting and communication of drug shortage information, and modifying workflow within MoHP to avoid unnecessary delays.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Administration

Graduation Date


Submission Date


First Advisor

El Baradei, Laila

Committee Member 1

Barsoum, Ghada

Committee Member 2

Abdelhalim, Khaled


137 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


First, I would like to thank the Yousef Jameel GAPP Public Leadership Program for granting me this golden opportunity, and for letting me be part of this incredible leaders’ network. Further, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to my supervisor Dr. Laila El Baradei for her guidance and persistent help along my research process. I consider myself lucky to have such an inspiring supervisor who has always been considerate and supportive. Also, I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Ghada Barsoum and Dr. Khaled Abdel-Halim for their continuous support and constructive feedback since the early stages of the thesis and for accepting to serve on the committee. I am also grateful to all my professors who were the lights along my way through graduation. I would like to thank all participants for their assistance and the time they allocated for the interviews to produce this research. I must express my very profound gratitude to my brothers and friends for providing me with unfailing support and continuous encouragement throughout my years of study and through the process of researching and writing this thesis. Finally, I dedicate this work to the soul of my mother who had always been a model of persistence and dedication in life, she taught me love and kindness, and inspired me to be strong and responsible. I also dedicate it to the soul of my father, who believed in me. This accomplishment would not have been possible without their valuable advices which I always remember. Thank you. Above all, I thank Allah, the almighty for providing me this opportunity and granting me the capability to proceed successfully.

Available for download on Tuesday, September 19, 2023