Private Sector Role in Health Supply Chains

Private Sector Role in Health Supply Chains: Review of the Role and Potential for Private Sector Engagement in Developing Country Health Supply Chains

The report sets a baseline understanding of healthcare supply chains and characterizes the current private sector role in supply chains in lower middle income countries. It is informed by in-depth case studies of Ghana and Zambia, as well as interviews of over 40 supply chain and health experts in 12 countries about private sector initiatives in those countries. The major findings characterize supply chains, analyze the potential to invest in private sector initiatives, and make recommendations for key stakeholders.

Strong supply chains are essential to effective health care delivery in all sectors—public, faith-based, employer-provided, and private. In the countries of the Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD), supply chains rely heavily on the private sector for supply, distribution, and provision of key auxiliary services even when the health system itself is largely or exclusively public sector. These supply chains work quite well in ensuring consistent availability of high-quality product. In contrast, health supply chains in many low- and middle-income countries perform poorly and have less private sector involvement. This observation leads us to ask: How might a greater role for the private sector, greater leveraging of private sector supply chain best practices, or a combination of the two improve health supply chains in low- and middle-income countries?

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