Information Sharing and Supply Chain Performance in the Context of Neglected Tropical Diseases: An Empirical Investigation

Elena Kasparis, Yufei Huang, Bill Lin, Christos Vasilakis

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Background:<br> <br>Public-private partnerships contribute billions of donated medicines to mass drug administrations in support of the World Health Organization’s “Roadmap to Implementation,” which outlines targets to control, eliminate, and eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). The supply chain to deliver medicines donated for preventive chemotherapy is complex due to the many partners and stakeholders involved, as well as by the inherent requirement to deliver to remote destinations in developing countries. Fragmented data systems and limited information and transparency on performance pose additional challenges. For example, delivery timeliness was performing below the WHO target for 80% on-time delivery, leading to untreated patients and waste. In September 2016, an online supply chain performance measurement system (SCPMS), “NTDeliver,” was launched by the NTD Supply Chain Forum to enhance performance information transparency and improve supply chain performance. <br> <br>Methods:<br><br>The aim of this research was to empirically assess whether and how NTDeliver improved the performance of the supply chain. Secondary data was extracted from the SCPMS that covers over 1,300 shipments for four critical medicine donations delivered to over 100 countries. We applied statistical regression models to assess impact on key performance metrics comparing historical data before the SCPMS to post SCPMS launch. Seven key performance metrics were assessed, spanning from purchase order timeliness to delivery timeliness. <br> <br>Findings:<br> <br>The results suggest information sharing has had a positive impact on three performance indicators: purchase order timeliness, arrival timeliness, and—most importantly—delivery timeliness. Our analysis suggests more substantial impact when information is publicly accessible. Three variables indicated such an increased positive impact when the data is publicly shared: shipment timeliness, arrival timeliness, and delivery timeliness. <br> <br>Interpretation:<br><br>Our findings suggest that information sharing between the NTD program partners can help drive improved performance in the supply chain. Given the large scale of medicine volumes and the large number of people requiring these medicines, information sharing has the potential to provide incremental improvements to global health programs affecting the health of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people. More broadly, the results from this research support investment in information sharing in humanitarian supply chains and data transparency with in-country staff managing logistics. The improvements in supply management can have significant impact on the lives and well-being of the almost two billion people that suffer from these diseases
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Information Sharing
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Health Care

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