The top ten global health supply chain issues: Perspectives from the field

Natalie Privett, David Gonsalvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


In the battle for global health, supply chains are often found wanting. Yet most of what is known about in-country pharmaceutical supply chains resides in the experiences of individual stakeholders, with limited amounts of this knowledge captured in technical reports and papers. This short communication taps into the collective experience and wisdom of global health supply chain professionals through interviews and surveys to identify and prioritize the top 10 global health pharmaceutical supply chain challenges: (1) lack of coordination, (2) inventory management, (3) absent demand information, (4) human resource dependency, (5) order management, (6) shortage avoidance, (7) expiration, (8) warehouse management, (9) temperature control, and (10) shipment visibility. As such, this work contributes to the foundational knowledge of global health pharmaceutical supply chains. These challenges must be addressed by researchers, policy makers, and practitioners alike if global pharmaceutical supply chains are to be developed and improved in emerging regions of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-230
Number of pages5
JournalOperations Research for Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Developing countries
  • Disaster response
  • Emerging markets
  • Global health
  • Health systems
  • Humanitarian
  • Visibility


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