Rosenberg J, Weintraub R. Chasing Polio Eradication: Vaccine Development. Harvard Business Publishing. 2019.Abstract


    This case describes the development and rollout of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV), starting in 2007, to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in eliminating poliovirus. After providing background on the global polio eradication program, the case explores the policy decisions behind the development of bOPV, progression through clinical trials, licensure, and distribution of the vaccine. In particular, the case examines the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in accelerating the progression through these stages. The case study ends with Steve Cochi and Roland Sutter of WHO reflecting on the successes of bOPV and its impact on the eradication program at a global level.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Learning objectives: A productive class discussion will allow readers to understand the importance of product development to respond rapidly to the needs of a global health initiative as well as the complexities of ensuring the engagement of stakeholders involved in vaccine development, and the potential role of the public sector in facilitating product development.

    Supporting content: The case entitled Polio Elimination in Uttar Pradesh, India may provide helpful background information.

    Keywords: randomized controlled trial, global health, public health, vaccine development, supply chain management, disease eradication, public-private partnership, collaboration, product development


    Brooks P, Rosenberg J, Weintraub R. The Global Trachoma Mapping Project. Harvard Business Publishing. 2016.Abstract

    This case explores what it took to map the prevalence of trachoma infection in 1,531 districts across 26 countries by directly examining 2.39 million individuals in just three years. Dozens of organizations worked together on the largest standardized mapping project in the world as part of an effort to eliminate blinding trachoma globally by the year 2020. After providing some background on trachoma, early control efforts, and the formation of a global coalition, the case explores the events, strategies, technology, and stakeholders that enabled the mapping project. It describes how the stakeholders worked together, the coordination and management mechanisms used, and the investments required. Given that disease elimination had been achieved only once before, in the case of smallpox, the case asks students to consider how the project’s leaders, Tom Millar and Anthony Solomon, could help maximize returns from trachoma mapping so that the campaign could achieve its ultimate goal of global trachoma elimination within the next five years. Were there ways in which they could leverage efforts to map this neglected tropical disease to inform other disease control programs?

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Life cycle of Trachoma
    Life Cycle of Trachoma. Source: The Carter Center/Al Granberg, International Trachoma Initiative. Available at

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate what contributes to the development of a productive coalition; what it takes to collect quality data at scale; the challenges and benefits of identifying your target population for public health programming; and the tradeoffs between a targeted campaign addressing one disease and bundling efforts for multiple diseases.

    Keywords: Disease mapping, disease elimination, multi-sectoral collaboration, electronic data capture


    ole-MoiYoi K, Talbot JR, Weintraub R. Roll-Out of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in Swaziland. Harvard Business Publishing. 2012.Abstract

    After outlining the history of malaria in Swaziland, this focused case study examines the implementation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria in Swaziland to improve case management and to strengthen the national malaria surveillance system as the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) aims to implement a national elimination strategy. In addition to information on RDT selection, the case details Swaziland's quality assurance program-the first of its kind in the region, the public health benefits of the immediate disease notification system for active case detection, and Simon Kunene's leadership qualities as the manager of the NMCP for 24 years. The case addresses the necessary increases in financing and human resources to support the strategy and evaluates the impact of RDTs on the strategy. Challenges the NMCP faces in achieving malaria elimination include sustaining political will, interest, and financial commitments from donors and strengthening health workforce training and RDT procurement and distribution.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Milestones toward Malaria Elimination
    Milestones toward Malaria Elimination. Source: The Global Malaria Action Plan: For a malaria-free world. Roll Back Malaria Partnership, 2008. (Exhibit 4 from "Roll-Out of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in Swaziland" case.

    Learning Objectives: To understand the role of diagnostics in a malaria elimination strategy, what it takes to effectively integrate a new diagnostic into care delivery, how leaders generate social and political capital over time, and the intricacies of managing a national disease program.

    Keywords: National strategy, supply chain management, diagnostic testing strategies, malaria eradication and control

    ole-MoiYoi K, Rodriguez W. Investing in Global Health: Botanical Extracts Ltd. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case traces the establishment of Botanical Extracts (BE) as a manufacturer of artemisinin, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for malaria in East Africa. After providing background on the disease and its epidemiology and history, the case delves into the malaria eradication and control efforts of the past 50 years, with emphasis on treatment with anti-malarials. It describes how artemisinin made the transition from a traditional Chinese medicine to Novartis’ largest pharmaceutical product by volume. The case presents background information on the artemisinin industry, with emphasis on the WHO, Novartis, artemisinin extractors, and Artemisia farmers. The case details the founding of BE, its role in the ACT industry, and the complex supply chain for ACTs from the cultivation of the raw material to the delivery of ACTs as well as the public private partnership that was driving the manufacturing and delivery of ACTs. The case ends by describing the challenges faced by BE in June 2008, asking how best the company should move forward.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    The Artemisia Plant and Cultivation
    The Artemisia Plant and Cultivation. Image A Source: Advanced Bio-Extracts. Image B Source: Farmer in Central Kenya, June 2008. (Exhibit 7 from "Investing in Global Health: Botanical Extracts Ltd." case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand 1) the challenges of manufacturing necessary healthcare commodities for a populace that is unable to afford them, 2) how risk is distributed among actors in public-private partnerships, and 3) how investment in health commodities in developing countries can promote sustainable economic development.

    Keywords: Public-private partnerships, pharmaceutical supply chains, malaria eradication and control, health commodity manufacturing

    Arnquist S, Weintraub R. HIV/AIDS in Indonesia: Building a Coordinated National Response. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case documents Indonesia’s progress in developing a coordinated national HIV/AIDS response. Within the context of a new democratic government, a weak civil society sector, a newly decentralized and underfunded public health system, and a religiously conservative environment, the case describes how international donors financed and directed HIV/AIDS-related efforts for the first 15 years of the epidemic. In 2006 the National AIDS Commission (NAC) was restructured and awarded funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The case documents how DFID’s flexible financing enabled the NAC to develop a single national strategy, a national monitoring and evaluation framework, and a system of local AIDS commissions. The case ends in 2009 with the NAC preparing to assume a new role as one of three Principal Recipients of the Global Fund to Fight, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The NAC leadership must contemplate how to sustain and further the progress made in scaling up HIV prevention services while taking on new responsibilities as a Global Fund Principal Recipient.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Map of Indonesia Showing HIV Program Implementers, 2005
    Map of Indonesia Showing HIV Program Implementers, 2005. Source: Indonesia National AIDS Commission. (Exhibit 1 "HIV/AIDS in Indonesia: Building a Coordinated National Response" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand the impact of external financing, donor-driven agendas, and a national champion in creating a multisectoral response to HIV in a religiously conservative, lower middle-income country.

    Keywords: National strategy, sustainability, HIV prevention, flexible donor financing

    ole‐MoiYoi K, Rodriguez W. Building Local Capacity for Health Commodity Manufacturing: A to Z Textile Mills Ltd. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case focuses on the establishment of the Olyset® Consortium—a public-private partnership that was created to facilitate the manufacture of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets to prevent malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa—and A to Z Textile Mills (“A to Z”), the manufacturer of the nets in Arusha, Tanzania. The case examines how the public-private partnership was developed, its use of an incentive-based supply chain, A to Z’s business model and impact, and the sustainability of the venture. The case reveals that despite significant success in attaining objectives, the misaligned incentives of the many partners presented major obstacles to the overall sustainability of A to Z’s Olyset® production line.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and Olyset Production Process
    Long Lasting Insecticide Nets and Olyset Production Process. Source: A to Z Textile Mills Ltd., Arusha, Tanzania (Case Exhibit 9).

    Learning Objectives: To understand the potential for public-private partnerships to leverage innovation and scalability from the private sector and quality and equitable access from the public sector and to examine the costs and benefits of local manufacturing of technologically complex global health commodities in resource-limited settings.

    Keywords: Public-private partnerships, incentive-based supply chain, global health commodity manufacturing, malaria prevention