New technology, better use of data, and entrepreneurial passion in improving distribution channels is reaching a critical mass with the potential to drive extraordinary improvements in availability, affordability, and quality of health products. Global health institutions can play a significant role in further boosting the overall innovation ecosystem for health products distribution. However, most distribution system innovators are missing from global discussions around UHC and access to medicines.
Donors play a significant role in funding medicines and other commodities in global health. Of the approximately US $28.2 billion spent by donors in 2010, approximately 40% went towards medicines, vaccines and other health commodities, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. The efficiency of this spend is therefore of great concern, given the large variability in supply chain costs.