Local markets for global health technologies: lessons learned from advancing 6 new products

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Global procurement mechanisms are a major potent force in successful global health programming. Such mechanisms purchase key technologies such as vaccines, antiretroviral drugs, and contraceptives for distribution across many countries. However, many more critical technologies, particularly those affecting maternal and newborn health, require advancement of local markets for ultimate sustainability and public health impact. Unfortunately, many of these markets suffer from a basic dysfunction: the lack of sufficient market incentive to stimulate production and distribution as well as complicated local supply chains and delivery systems to reach those most in need.

In this article, we present 6 case studies of technologies recently introduced into developing-country markets (Oxytocin in Uniject, careHPV, Helping Babies Breathe, Woman’s Condom, Safe Water, and Ultra Rice). We use a market introduction framework as an organizing structure to highlight key elements that may have contributed to varying degrees of success and, when lacking, to certain challenges in these markets. Through these examples, we hope to contribute to the global discussion on best practices for creating healthy markets as the global health community works together to accelerate access to lifesaving technologies.