Is ColaLife the only option?

Mark III AidPod in Crate with white background
Image credit: Tim Dench, TOAD

ColaLife is trying to make simple medicines, and other social products, reach the same places that Coca-Cola reaches, that is, most places. This has proved to be a very popular idea. But can it be made to work? We intend to find out.

It is worth all the effort, because from where I am standing it looks like the only idea in town. As Village Reach points out, the establishment of a dedicated distribution system to get simple medicines to remote places would be ‘too expensive to procure’.

The world over, saving lives comes down to money. In the UK we have NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) who decide how we should spend the limited health resources and it all comes down to the level of bang you get for your buck. The same is true in developing countries except worse. There, demand for health services seriously outstrips supply and so it is even more important that you invest limited resources where they reap the largest benefit. It’s always going to be cheaper to save urban lives than remote, rural lives. From any standpoint, except the one of a parent with a dying child in a rural area, it makes no sense to set up and maintain a supply chain for simple medicines, and the knowledge of how to use them, to remote rural areas.

So what are we to do? The only practical option is to piggyback on distribution systems that are already there and one of these (but not the only one) is the Coca-Cola distribution system. Well, that’s the why I see it anyway. Comments?

[Posted from Gare D’Austerlitz while waiting to meet Jacques Macaire a ColaLife supporter in Paris :-)]


  1. Judy Scott-Goldman says

    It is not only practical but there is a strong argument in terms of cost to the environment to use any means of transport as efficiently as possible. Maybe a company such as Coca Cola could claim green credits according to an agreed system to offset its carbon footprint.