Innovations and Positive Disruptions in the Supply Chain for Second Line Drugs

April 16, 2015


Over 63 experts convened for the Innovations and Positive Disruptions in the Supply Chain for Second Line Drugs workshop. This workshop was hosted by the newly established Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery–Dubai, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The workshop’s aim was to discuss innovations in the supply chain for second line drugs, as well as new approaches to expand global access to second line tuberculosis medication.

This meeting brought together 63 participants: TB researchers, public health professionals, social entrepreneurs, clinicians, and policy-makers from 15 countries to discuss reforms or innovations to the global supply chain for second-line TB drugs. These participants represented non-governmental organizations, hospitals, social businesses, academic research institutions, national and global health organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. Represented organizations included The Global Fund, Partners In Health, Clinton Health Access Initiative, TB Reach, Interactive Research and Development, Operation ASHA, Stop TB Partnership, Otsuka, Eli Lilly &Co., Pfizer, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, among many others.

Presentations covered new market-based tools, relevant reforms in other disease areas in the past, institutional reforms at multilateral or bilateral agencies, and new international cooperation among the BRICS, the highest-burden countries for TB. The day began with a presentation by Dr. Salmaan Keshavjee of Harvard Medical School Department of Global Health and Social Medicine highlighting the current supply chain system for TB drugs and their challenges and bottlenecks. The day focused on practical suggestions to overcome these weaknesses and to create new pathways for quality drugs to reach programs and patients who urgently need them. Presentations for the rest of the day touched on current innovations in the supply chain area, including presentations from Sana Mostaghim of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Dan Collins of the Eli Lilly Global MDR-TB Partnership, and Tom Nicholson of Duke University. These presentations were interspersed by a facilitated discussion and short case studies on pooled procurement and other methods. Throughout, the presenters identified areas for intervention in the supply chain for the near future. The end of the day covered the feasibility of BRICS country collaboration for expanded TB drug access. André De Souza of the Institute of Applied Economic Research, Brazil and Peter Yu of Drake University Law School ended the day with a review of the challenges and opportunities present in current intellectual property regimes in the BRICS countries.

This session concluded with productive discussion and was met with positive feedback by participants. A report is being written summarizing and the findings of the prepared materials and the workshop discussions on these topics. This report will emphasize the potential applications of the supply chain findings and recommend practical interventions.