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Coca Cola, Global Fund Announce Expansion Of Project To Deliver Medicines In Rural Areas

The Coca-Cola Company and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have announced the expansion of a pilot project, called “Project Last Mile,” that uses Coca Cola’s “‘expansive global distribution system and core business expertise’ to help deliver critical medicines to remote parts of the world, beginning in rural Africa,” Pharma Times reports. “The public-private partnership was established in 2010 to help Tanzania’s government-run medicine distribution network, Medical Stores Department, build a more efficient supply chain by using Coca-Cola’s” delivery system model, the news service writes, adding, “The latest phase of the partnership, developed in cooperation with the likes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Accenture and Yale University, will increase the availability of critical medicines to 75 percent of Tanzania and expand the initiative to Ghana and Mozambique” (Grogan, 9/26).

“According to a case study from the Yale School of Public Health, while the delivery system doesn’t approach Coca-Cola-like efficiency, it has improved vastly,” the Daily Beast reports, noting, “Data being released at the 2012 [Clinton Global Initiative] on Wednesday show that delivery times have been cut from 30 days to five, [and when] patients seek vaccination, they find the right one in 80 percent of cases, up from 50 percent two years ago” (Gross, 9/25). A Coca Cola press release notes that “a partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been established as Project Last Mile continues to expand to other regions” (9/25).