CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–A new white paper—“The Challenges, Solutions, and Strategies Driving Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Innovation”—highlights the multiple hurdles pharmaceutical manufacturers and logistics providers will face in 2016 and beyond.
The paper was published by integrated logistics solutions provider Kenco and LogiPharma. The paper is based on research conducted with pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals at the 2015 LogiPharma US Conference.
“Pharmaceutical and biotechnology supply chains face multiple challenges—some traditional—but many brand new,” said Judy Craig, vice president of sales at Kenco. “Executives surveyed for this study identified supply chain visibility as a top concern for 2016. The findings can help us work together to engineer supply chain solutions unique to the pharmaceutical industry.”
The report identifies five key challenges:
item-level serialization is a complex task that requires significant operational changes and investments in new technology by pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors;
• product diversification driven by drug development, mergers, and acquisitions pose new challenges to pharmaceutical organizations due to the sheer variety of products offered;
• regulations and compliance—particularly for drug recalls—often inhibit efforts to innovate the supply chain;
• big data is perceived as a way to control costs and drive value, but many businesses are still struggling with the practicalities of integrated data management; and
emerging markets—including Brazil, Russia, China, Mexico, and Turkey—require a much more efficient global supply chain capable of handling huge volumes delivered to up to 70 percent of the world’s population.
One recommendation of the study is for pharmaceutical businesses to better understand the value of partnerships with third party logistics providers who can help improve supply chain operations.
“About 66 percent of study respondents reported currently outsourcing some of their distribution and order-fulfillment operations, and 67 percent outsource transportation management,” said Craig. “This shows how 3PLs are being called on more frequently to help the pharmaceutical industry reduce costs, create efficiencies, and spark innovation.”