Coca-Cola improves drug supply chains in Africa

As a really impressive way of giving back to society, Coca-Cola joined hands with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to start a project whereby critical medicines are delivered to remote parts of the world using the MNC's “expansive global distribution system and core business expertise”, the project first kicked off in Tanzania in 2010, when public-private partnership was established in 2010 to help Tanzania's government-run medicine distribution network to build a more efficient supply chain by using Coca-Cola's “proven logistics models for delivering beverages most anywhere in the world”. Since its inauguration, the project has helped nearly 20 million people and reduced medicine delivery times to Tanzanian health facilities from 30 days to only five.

The project has since then expanded and is currently cooperating with other big names, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Accenture and Yale University. They aim to increase the availability of critical medicines to 75% of Tanzania and expand the initiative to the neighbouring countries of Ghana and Mozambique. Further opportunities to move into additional countries are also in the pipeline.

"Supply chains in remote parts of the world often don't work efficiently, and that can mean that deaths that should be prevented still occur. We noticed (that) Coca-Cola's products always seemed to get to every remote region and we thought that if they could get their product there, with their support, maybe we could too," says, Gabriel Jaramillo, general manager of the Global Fund.

Ideas like this prove that there is no end to experimentation and innovation within businesses and, more often than not, there is good chance that such experiments will be successful. Drug shortages are a common problem, not only in Africa, but all around the world and one of the causes for this may be an ineffective supply chain. Are you in a company that supplies drugs to Asia? Do not miss the BioPharma Asia Convention 2013 in Singapore next year. This time, one of the conference tracks at the convention is Pharma & Biotech Supply Chain World Asia. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to receive expert advice on how to collaborate with 3PL and distributors to improve cost optimisation across the logistics chain.

Sources: Pharma Times