Strengthening Health Systems


Pharmacist Nepal, AusAID_Jim Holmes, 2013, CC2.0, Modified

Fragile health systems, marked by shortages in professionals, technologies, and medicines, struggle to both deliver routine care and respond to emergent health crises. While investing in government institutions is important, roads, data systems, and other infrastructure also impact efficacy. To strengthen health systems, we bring the tools of engineering and logistics to global innovators, such as the Clinton Health Access Initiative, seeking to reveal hidden fractures in medical and humanitarian operations and supply chains.

What are Drug Stock-Outs?

By Biplab Bhattacharya

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.

Our Working Solutions

"The team from University at Buffalo has been tremendous to work with. Their support has helped us dive deeper into our program’s data to understand what’s working and not working and improve the quality and manner in which healthcare is delivered in our program countries."  -Felix Lam, Clinton Health Access Initiative
Low-resource communities with heavy disease burden often lack the infrastructure to improve the sparse drug availability. Given that existing supply chain research focuses on drug distribution based on equality to maximize profits, we seek to develop new research methodologies which characterize medical supplies needs based on equity of actual demands.

Our Team

Faculty Fellows

Rajan Batta

SUNY Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

410 Bell Hall

Phone: 716-645-0972


Li Lin


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

412 Bell Hall Buffalo

Phone: 716-645-4713


Gina Prescott

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Pharmacy

215 Kapoor (John) Hall

Phone: 716-645-2828


Pavani Ram.

Pavani Ram

Co-lead, Community for Global Health Equity

Student Associates

Biplab Bhattacharya in Uganda.

Biplab Bhattacharya, PhD

UB Alumna; Former Graduate Assistant

Industrial and Systems Engineering and Community for Global Health Equity