Here’s a valuable health supply chain question: why does Coca Cola reach the remotest areas of the country while important medications and devices cannot? They may need global medical logistics to reach these areas.
No one has to create this problem of improving the accessibility of basic drugs for the remotest communities. Having a healthy population is the main focus towards development. Community health centres continue to be reconstructed; however, their shelves remain empty, excluding of course the inclusion of antimalarials and antiretrovirals. So, what does Coca Cola know about keeping the stock levels in these remote areas that health communities are still trying to resolve?
It’s basically a question that some researchers from a local university have tried to respond in their study about the American healthcare supply chains. Asking about what lessons should be learned by the healthcare industry, the study came up with recommendations for best practices, which are worth considering, even with the contextual differences. According to the study, one needs combined planning, replenishment and forecasting, scanning technology, and training and education for efficient accessibilities in their markets.
However, the issues aren’t limited for accessibility, even with the global medical logistics around. According to WHO, the procurement process is very important to ensure the medicines and other health products, that come with high quality, are delivered reliably, safely and cost-efficiently. How can this be done in countries where there is poor infrastructure and human resources, and where warehouses and money are scarce?
Finally, it may also include technology. If mobile devices are providing farmers access to markets, how can these be used to improve healthcare benefits? The NGO writes that about one-billion people living in poverty, 75% of them don’t live in key cities. There has to be a way to deliver traditional healthcare to eliminate barriers of time and transportation to seek medical care. One specific example is the innovation of telemedicine. The current global medical logistics can be used for this purpose.
It is quite obvious that challenges are great with a potential to innovate. One may consider cross-sector collaboration or through technology adoption.