Our expert answers 3 Questions
My primary focus is to understand issues around improving healthcare access and affordability of in low and middle income countries. I have written papers and case studies on malaria / tuberculosis models of delivery and have also studied telemedicine systems in India. I am currently working on a project to improve availability of medicines in retail drug stores in Africa using innovations in supply chain contracting and finance. More recently, I have become interested in the healthcare issues in the United States. One of my projects in this area aims to develop a holistic understanding of cost drivers in the U.S. healthcare system and explore opportunities for improving efficiency. The second project focuses on better understanding the key determinants of persistent drug shortages in the U.S.
A large portion of the growth in the life sciences sector will occur from emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa. This growth will occur primarily from serving populations that currently do not access formal healthcare (medicines, vaccines, service consultations, diagnosis, and preventive technologies). Achieving the projected growth in emerging markets requires an in-depth understanding of current constraints in healthcare delivery systems. New business models built around market access and efficient delivery offer tremendous potential to both improve people's health worldwide and achieve revenue growth. Several researchers are studying efficiency improvement in the U.S. healthcare system. While some great research is being done to diagnose key issues and inform policy, we feel that it is also important to take an end-to-end healthcare value chain (manufacturer – distributor – retailer – provide – payer) perspective to better understand costs and wastage, and to identify opportunities for efficiency improvement. Drug shortages have been a perennial issue in the U.S. healthcare system that significantly impacts lives. While much has been written about why these shortages exist and what should be done, there is little rigorous academic research on to understand the root causes of these shortages and associated policy implications.
Improving healthcare in resource-constrained settings will require private sector approaches and innovative business models. Developing a body of knowledge and thought leadership around market access and delivery will help inform key stakeholders about opportunities to meet the health needs of currently underserved populations. Bringing this research to the classroom will help train future leaders in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Through our end-to-end value chain perspective on U.S. healthcare industry and our analyses, we hope to add to the body of literature on holistic strategies for reducing healthcare costs. Our rigorous analysis of the causes of drug shortages will hopefully allow us to develop policy prescriptions to mitigate drug shortages and save lives.