Current Challenges for the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
With a large number of blockbuster drugs’ patents expiring in recent years, pharma companies are seeing a significant increase in complexity and risk in their supply chains. Supply chains are shifting from traditional small, molecule, and solid dose products to more bio-engineered, complex, and technical products. These are niche products with a shorter shelf life that require a more sophisticated cold-chain and temperature controlled supply chain with a very specialized customer and patient in mind.
These new supply chains are causing a significant trend towards de-commissioning internal manufacturing facilities and outsourcing to CMO’s with biopharmaceutical products. Pharma companies must give up manufacturing control to be more agile and nimble while more effectively managing cost.
To add to this complexity, supply chains are becoming more global than ever. With slow growth in developed regions and significant growth opportunities in the BRIC countries, as well as other emerging areas, pharma companies are expanding their customer base to new areas.
Furthermore, there is immense pressure from Wall Street and the C-Suite to drive profitability through the supply chain. VP’s of supply chains must now look to segment their supply chains to find areas where they can be more efficient and reduce cost, while maintaining high levels of service. On the flip side, they must find out where they can add value for a customer through innovative supply chain strategies. They must also aim to innovate with distribution models such as ‘direct to customer’ in order to discover new opportunities for their company.
This paper will aim to address how to overcome some of these issues based on two VIP Think Tank discussions based 6 months apart in New Jersey as part of the LogiPharma USA conference.