Why is Coke ubiquitous in poor countries while medicine is hard to find?

This question has presumably been around roughly as long as Coke itself, and has sparked a number of efforts for medicine distributors to piggyback on Coke’s supply chain, none with I believe much success.  The issue got a fresh airing on Twitter recently from Niti Bhan.  Then Prashant Yadav pointed the conversation towards a 2013 SSIR article that he and coauthors Orla Stapleton and Luk Van Wassenhove had published on this topic.  The article itself is gated, but he shared the chart below on Twitter, and it’s well worth a read.  As he points out, “[The issue is] mostly about information flow, incentives in the system, and regulatory impediments.”

Chart comparing the supply chains of Coke and medicines

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