Global Supply Chain Creates Increased Challenges For Life Science Companies
By Ed Miseta, chief editor, Outsourced Pharma and Clinical Leader
There is no question the life science industry is global in nature. Numerous pharma companies have locations in multiple countries and across multiple continents. According to its web site, Pfizer alone has offices in 45 different countries. Many of those firms now have suppliers, as well as CMO and CRO partners, that are also stretched across multiple continents. That extended global supply chain has made the job of the folks who handle the shipping of drugs and materials to those varied locations ever more complicated.
Richard Smith, managing director, FedEx Express Life Sciences and Specialty Services, believes three trends are having a significant impact on the healthcare transportation industry, and are creating business challenges for the firms involved. “Number one, without question, is security and product integrity,” he says. “Pharma companies need to make sure drug products are secure from theft, tampering, and exposure to extreme temperatures, especially when moving product across borders, continents, and oceans. A breach in that security or integrity will cause the products to become inert or have to be destroyed. This is a huge challenge for the pharma industry, as one lost or destroyed shipment can easily cost a company millions.”