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Saving Lives while Saving Money

Article by Suraj B. Patel May 7, 2013 //   4 minute read

Today, the George W. Bush Institute released its first book in global health, Pharmacy on a Bicycle: Innovative Solutions for Global Health and Poverty. The book is about taking health care to the last mile – sometimes quite literally – to a place that’s accessible, in a way that’s acceptable, and at a cost that’s affordable.

Pharmacy on a Bicycle shows how to use innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to build on the progress already made in global health, such as PEPFAR” said James K. Glassman, Executive Director of the Bush Institute.  “Leveraging existing infrastructures created by governments, NGOs, and large and small businesses can lead to rapid and inexpensive scale-up of effective health solutions.” 

PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, was started by President George W. Bush in 2003 and continues under President Obama.  As highlighted in the book, PEPFAR is credited with saving millions of lives from HIV/AIDS using a bold new approach to development and health.  This month marks the tenth anniversary of the signing of the PEPFAR legislation.

Millions are dying of diseases that we can easily and inexpensively prevent, diagnose and treat. Why? Because even though we know exactly what people need, we just can’t get it to them. They are dying not because we can’t solve a medical problem but because we can’t solve a logistics problem.

The book provides over 100 examples of organizations that are using innovative business approaches to deliver and scale health care to the poor throughout Africa, Asian and Latin America, including Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, the public private partnership to combat cervical and breast cancer in developing countries co-founded and organized by the Bush Institute with the US State Department, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and UNAIDS. It also provides models and guidance for solutions to global health challenges that can increase access, use, and quality while also decreasing costs.

Pharmacy on a Bicycle was highlighted during a gathering of global health experts who attended the recent opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.   

“We are excited about the potential to help save lives through the ideas presented in the book,” said Dr. Eric G. Bing, Senior Fellow and Director of Global Health at the Bush Institute and Professor of Global Health at Southern Methodist University. Bing is a physician and researcher and co-authored the book with colleague Marc J. Epstein, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor of Management at Rice University.  Epstein is a business school professor, author, and researcher with extensive experience in developing countries.    Combining Eric’s extensive work in global health with Marc’s work in designing and implementing solutions to challenges of business and nonprofit organizations has produced a powerful guide to action grounded in the best academic research and managerial practices.

Pharmacy on a Bicycle is co-published by the Bush Institute and Berrett-Kohler Publishers in the US and is being simultaneously released in India by HarperCollins-India.  The book is available through major booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Read a sneak preview of Pharmacy on a Bicycle.

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