Resilience as Basis for Sustainability: Shortages in Production Supply Chains for Essential Consumer Goods

Some consumer products, termed essential consumer goods, are crucial to sustaining health or even life. A shortage in supply of essential consumer goods can have tangible negative impacts on society. This study applies this topic to the case of inexpensive, generic, injectable oncological medication shortages in Europe. Cancer patient outcomes including survival rates, as well as treatment costs, are significantly influenced by oncological medicines shortages. Even though the problem is well documented and universally acknowledged, a lack of data has deterred any quantitative solution-oriented studies. However, a structural model can provide reliable insight in cases where data is unavailable or unreliable through relying on structural validation.

This study proposes the first causal model showing the underlying structure of the European inexpensive, generic, injectable oncological medications supply chain. This study identifies the most common causes of supply shortages and develops a quantitative supply chain model with the ability to simulate causes of identified shortages. Finally, key performance indicators are proposed to evaluate the sustainability of the supply chains in question from several perspectives.

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