The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Reform That We Are Not Enough Talking About

Coronavirus Treatments and Vaccines

Global supply chain vulnerabilities were exposed during the coronavirus “stress test”.

The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), caused chaos and frustration when suppliers had to deal with a sudden surge in demand, bans on exports, production problems, and transport challenges.

The success of vaccines and treatments is crucial for economic recovery and the anticipated “return to normalcy”.

The public health priority is to strengthen the supply chain.

These drugs will need to be made available as soon as they are available.

The U.S. and European governments have introduced new legislation as the attention turns to the supply chain for pharmaceuticals.

The new legislation improves both the geographic diversity of production as well as visibility into the supply chain.

It also maintains detailed databases about drug manufacturing facilities.

This legislation is a great starting point for the digital supply network to be key.

Future-proofing supply chain operations require increased visibility and greater supplier diversity. However, long-term success requires us to look at all aspects of the MHRA approved warehousing UK and supply chain.

The industry is not without its challenges when it comes to optimizing transport management and logistics.

Transport and logistics challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry

To transport vaccine-related products, the pharmaceutical industry heavily relies on cold chain cargo space in trucks. However, freight options have been drastically reduced by restrictions on shipping, shortages of drivers, and rising freight costs.

Because many raw materials used in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology require transportation under specific conditions, and some drugs have short lives, adapting logistics and transport methods can be difficult.

These are new challenges to those that existed before COVID. These include volatile fuel prices and regulatory complexities as well as aging transportation infrastructure. It is also well-known that the pharmaceutical supply chains are fragmented. Many companies lack the IT infrastructure required to share real-time data and monitor suppliers and disruptions.

The world is searching for long-term solutions. The widespread adoption of transport management systems will make life-saving drugs more accessible and more affordable. TMS can improve margins by reducing the net landed cost of goods by up to 30%.

Here are three key ways to prepare your pharmaceutical transportation management system

The PPE and medicine suppliers have been urged to modernize and adapt. They will have to choose supply chain solutions strategically that allow them to meet the unique challenges of today.

They will also need to be able to plan for future events, disruptions, or new legislation.

This is a lofty goal. However, it can be broken down into targets that address the underlying shortcomings and inefficiencies of the “Status Quo.”


1. Improve Collaboration among Logistics Service Providers

Pharmacists and their logistic partners cannot operate in silos anymore. Transport information and updates should be current.

They should also be able to make sure that medications are available when and where they’re needed.

Solution: Improved operational visibility through a digital supply chain network

A digital supply chain network is fundamental in the hierarchy of supply chain transformation needs.

A digital supply network is a single source of truth in transportation and logistics. It helps all parties plan, adapt and manage customer expectations.

This transformation is more than flipping a switch. This transformation will require organizations to change their processes, and possibly even their personnel and roles.

2. Shift from reactive to proactive operations

Many cracks were exposed in the supply chain, including a failure to be prepared for changes in demand or supply. The right technologies allow pharmaceutical companies to respond to disruptive events before they cause major problems such as shortages of critical medicines.

Predictive analytics: Solution

Nobody can foresee the future. However, it is possible to predict potential disruptions in orders and shipments using information from your suppliers or other world events that could pose a threat.

Predictive and visibility solutions are becoming more sophisticated every day. These solutions alert pharmaceutical companies about potential risks and business impacts so that they can make fast, data-driven decisions.

3. Supply Chain Logistics: Eliminate Human Error

Manual tasks like invoicing, shipping updates, and organizing documents leave too much room for error.

Organizations can use a variety of tools to automate many tasks once they have a digital supply system in place. This will allow them to free up resources and working capital.

Solution: Ready Infrastructure

With the right solutions, automation capabilities can be unlimited. These include automated status alerts, IoT integration, and accelerated shipping confirmations.

These capabilities can be packaged into apps and tools that address common problems every day. Examples include onboarding logistics providers or checking email for shipment update notifications. Automating can also help pharma companies navigate market-specific complexities.