Despite successful improvements efforts by the government and partners, the public pharmaceutical distribution system in Zambia still results in low service levels relative to private sector standards. A recent field experiment conducted in Zambia and reported in Friedman et al. (2013) offers an opportunity to further understand and improve patient access to medicines in this setting, and other low-income countries.
We present a secondary analysis of that experiment and justify an alternative supply chain design involving mobile devices and optimization. Results from a validated simulation model suggest that this proposal would increase drug availability and reduce inventory costs. We finally report on its implementation status (joint work with Z. Leung, P. Yadav and A. Chen).