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.
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.