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Bing, Epstein | Press Release

Pharmacy on a Bicycle:

Innovative Solutions for Global Health and Poverty

By Eric G. Bing and Marc J. Epstein

New book aims to save lives around the world with innovation business solutions

Pharmacy on a Bicycle
introduces a unique model for better global health. It saves more lives while saving money by using innovation, entrepreneurship and building on existing infrastructures. Authors Eric G. Bing and Marc Epstein come at the global health care crisis from two very different backgrounds - Epstein is a business school professor, Bing is a physician with an MBA. Combining Eric's extensive work in global health with Marc's work in designing and implementing solutions to challenges faced by business and nonprofit organizations has produced a powerful guide to action grounded in the best academic research and managerial practices.

The authors provide over 100 examples from organizations that are already using innovative business solutions to deliver and scale health care to the poor in more than 35 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Some of these best practices include:

  • Improving access to health services in rural communities by using an army of micro-entrepreneurial health workers based in and trusted by these communities. The health workers make a small profit to support their families while providing needed health products and services
  • Dramatically lowering costs of complex procedures, including open heart surgery and cataract surgery, by using factory-like processes to increase efficiency
  • Increasing the use of simple, yet life-saving solutions, such as insecticide treated bed nets, by making them culturally appropriate and acceptable
  • Improving the quality of health services through the use of simple checklists to ensure consistency and completion of all tasks

Mark Kramer, Senior Fellow Harvard University, says about the book, “…governments, companies, and NGOs must embrace a new paradigm to convert medical discoveries into real-world solutions. Bing and Epstein’s elegant framework for action provides clear guidance and a multitude of compelling examples to demonstrate that the power to save lives is already in our hands.”

Co-published by the Bush Institute and Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Pharmacy on a Bicycle brings life-saving innovation to health care through the increased use of business and entrepreneurial practices and supports the institute’s global health initiative, which is built on the belief that every life is precious.

About the Authors:

Eric G. Bing, MD, PhD, MBA, is a senior fellow and director for global health at the George W. Bush Institute and a professor at Southern Methodist University. He has developed health programs throughout Africa and the Caribbean for more than two decades.

Marc J. Epstein is distinguished research professor of management at Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. He has been a professor at Stanford, Harvard, and INSEAD. He leads a yearly trip to Africa to train students in poverty work.

Publication date: May 2013, $29.95, hardcover, 240 pages, 6 " x 9  ¼" ISBN 978-1-60994-789-7

More Praise for Pharmacy on a Bicycle:

“In this compelling, practical, and very human book, Bing and Epstein offer real-life solutions to ending millions of preventable deaths around the world. By integrating tools from public health, medicine, and business, they have created an approach - IMPACTS - that has potential for saving millions of lives, not only in low- and middle-income countries, but in resource-poor, hard-to-reach settings within wealthier nations.”
-Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH, President and CEO, CARE USA

“Powerful medicine for a world that is ailing from growing health disparities and a must-read for anyone providing care for - or caring about - the world’s most vulnerable people. Short on abstraction and long on practical solutions, this is an inspiring call to action that awakens the entrepreneur in all of us.”
-Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, President, Merck Vaccines, and former Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“This is what needs to be done in order to save lives! The creativity and originality of this book provide the impetus to bridge the final mile in global health. Bing and Epstein exemplify cost-effective and successful innovative solutions - a must-have for all working in global health.”

-Christine Kaseba-Sata, obstetrician and gynecologist and First Lady of the Republic of Zambia

“Pharmacy on a Bicycle demonstrates how, even in the most dire circumstances, entrepreneurs can develop cost-effective, sustainable, innovative solutions that have the potential for replication and scale. Not only are the examples inspiring and instructive, but the IMPACTS framework has applications that extend well beyond global health.”

-Professor J. Gregory Dees, cofounder, Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, Duke University