Improving access to essential medicines through public-private partnerships
(Baltimore, MD) – A report released today by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health asks why products like Coca-Cola can reach remote villages in developing nations while essential medicines like antibiotics cannot always be found. The report, entitled Improving Access to Essential Medicines Through Public-Private Partnerships documents the poor availability of essential health products (EHPs) in Sub-Saharan Africa and explores how to improve EHP distribution via collaborations with the private sector.
Focusing on the distribution stage in the EHP supply chain, the report examines the causes of bottlenecks at this stage. Distributors of consumer packaged goods (CPGs), such as food, beverages, tobacco, and mobile phone refill cards, have been more successful at reaching remote locations under difficult conditions than distributors of essential medicines. In the most remote villages of Africa, a person is more likely to find a kiosk with mobile phone cards in stock than a clinic with the basic antibiotics in stock.