Inequities in Transportation and Logistics

A drug stock-out is defined as an event that a drug-outlet or group of outlets of any type (drug shop/pharmacy/clinic), which is licensed or unlicensed, which serve(s) a specific community, are out of stock of a drug that is in demand in that community.

Although drug stock-outs are very common, their magnitude is largely undocumented in global health because of a lack of transparent demand data and inventory recording mechanisms. Drug stock-outs can increase the number of uncomplicated infections turning resistant, prescription of inappropriate drug alternatives, prolonged or severe illnesses due to inability to continue drug regimen, frustration of health care workers, and even death.


Articles and Reflections


  1. Bhattacharya, B., Batta, R., Lin, L., Ram, P.K. "Using Mobile Pharmacies to Reduce Inequity Due to Drug Stock-Outs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries." Operations Research for Health Care  (Under review).
  2. Bhattacharya, B. "A Vrp Incorporating Simultaneous Pickup and Delivery with Time Windows Model for Strategic Oxygen Technology Selection for Health Facilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries."  (In progress).
  3. Bhattacharya, Biplab, and Felix Lam. "Overcoming Shortages of Essential Medicines: Perspectives from Industrial and Systems Engineering and Public Health Practice." In Transforming Global Health: Interdisciplinary Challenges, Perspectives, and Strategies, edited by Korydon Smith and Pavani Ram. New York, NY: Springer, 2020.
  4. Bhattacharya, B., L. Lin, R. Batta, and P.K. Ram. "Stock-out Severity Index: Tool for Evaluating Inequity in Drug Stock-Outs." Central European Journal of Operations Research  (2019): 1-21.