Improving Timeliness in the Neglected Tropical Diseases Preventive Chemotherapy Donation Supply Chain through Information Sharing: A Retrospective Empirical Analysis

Elena Kasparis, Yufei Huang, Bill Lin, Christos Vasilakis

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Abstract

Background

Billions of doses of medicines are donated for mass drug administrations in support of the World Health Organization’s “Roadmap to Implementation,” which aims to control, eliminate, and eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). The supply chain to deliver these medicines is complex, with fragmented data systems and limited visibility on performance. This study empirically evaluates the impact of an online supply chain performance measurement system, “NTDeliver,” providing understanding of the value of information sharing towards the success of global health programs.
Methods

Retrospective secondary data were extracted from NTDeliver, which included 1,484 shipments for four critical medicines ordered by over 100 countries between February 28, 2006 and December 31, 2018. We applied statistical regression models to analyze the impact on key performance metrics, comparing data before and after the system was implemented.
Findings

The results suggest information sharing has a positive association with improvement for two key performance indicators: purchase order timeliness (β = 0.941, p = 0.003) and—most importantly—delivery timeliness (β = 0.828, p = 0.027). There is a positive association with improvement for three variables when the data are publicly shared: shipment timeliness (β = 2.57, p = 0.001), arrival timeliness (β = 2.88, p = 0.003), and delivery timeliness (β = 2.82, p = 0.011).
Conclusions

Our findings suggest that information sharing between the NTD program partners via the NTDeliver system has a positive association with supply chain performance improvements, especially when data are shared publicly. Given the large volume of medicine and the significant number of people requiring these medicines, information sharing has the potential to provide improvements to global health programs affecting the health of tens to hundreds of millions of people.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009523
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2021

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