Always something cool to learn about the pharma supply chain

7th November, 2022

Curious to know more about a critically important segment of the pharma supply chain?

Our Senior Commercial Manager – North American Lead, Shannon attended the 18th Annual Temperature Controlled Logistics & Security Summit in Philadelphia on November 1st. Read her take on the summit, including all the trending discussions and themes from the event:

Hearing from industry experts about the complexities of safely distributing quality medications to patients around the globe was an eye-opening experience. Today’s complex pharmaceutical supply chain involves numerous participants and disparate systems, and many of these systems don’t talk to each other. Often, this ecosystem creates information silos, resulting in a lack of clarity and inefficient supply chains. The shortcomings of the pharma supply chain can cause overstock, understock, expiry, and wastage that adversely affects patients.

Ongoing innovation within the pharma industry continues to spur the demand for cold chain logistics. Distribution without proper temperature controls for pharmaceuticals and medical devices results in significant wastage and threatens the availability of inventory. 

Unsurprisingly, the global pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the sector. There are now eight COVID-19 vaccines approved around the world; most if not all require temperature-controlled shipping and storage. 

The demand for better data and analytics, tracking, and sustainability were common themes, with content focused on advances in packaging, more efficient shipping practices, and an increase in tailored services like decentralized clinical trials.

Perhaps most compelling was the discussion about the critical ‘Last Mile’ – the most crucial part of the cold chain, and the most difficult. Delivering vaccines to distant, resource-poor health centers requires more than just the ability to transport products. Most of the time, delivery locations are remote, without internet or cellular connections. Even after the vaccines are delivered, unreliable and unstable electricity may spoil their potency. The “last mile” is where district/regional health centers deliver vaccines to rural health centers across the country. This is typically the weakest link in the supply chain due to a lack of infrastructure, insufficient technical capability, and overburdened personnel. 

With the extensive development of the pharma industry over the world, the demand for temperature-controlled packaging is projected to witness impressive growth over the next decade. The size of the cold chain logistics market for the pharmaceuticals industry is expected to grow by USD 9.48 bn from 2020 to 2025.

What’s clear is a need for better education and enhanced communication among all stakeholders, as well as ongoing investments in technologies that support more sustainable, reliable, safe, and timely distribution of medications to patients worldwide.

Interested in discussing this cool topic, and/or want to know how ramarketing can support you? Contact our team for an informal chat today.