In this working paper, commissioned as part of CGD's Drug Resistance Working Group, Prashant Yadav analyzes how changes in supply-chain business practices could help fix the misaligned incentives that hinder worldwide access to high-quality medical goods.
The emergence and spread of drug resistance is draining available resources and threatening our ability to treat infectious diseases in developing countries. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory tract infections continue to be the leading causes of death in many developing countries, many of which have already been exacerbated by resistance. Countering drug resistance often involves complex tradeoffs between activities such as the development of new products; ensuring treatment heterogeneity; and guaranteeing quality and ensuring systemic availability, affordability, compliance, adherence and rational use of drugs and diagnostics. A careful understanding of all the players involved in the resistance problem and their incentives to engage in activities that counter drug resistance is crucial for policymakers and resource managers in a range of institutions and agencies.