Updated on 27 December 2012
Logistics are the backbone of pharma and biotech infrastructure and need to be efficient
The European Medical Agency (EMA) recently raised concerns that since many sources of active substances for life-saving medicines are now wholly located outside Europe, it is of high importance that an efficient and standardized supply chain is maintained in all the countries through which the shipment is routed.
The agency pointed out that globalization of manufacture has continued to increase in importance and many medicinal products have extended manufacture and supply chains, which increases the risk of supply disruption, including new vulnerabilities.
Multiple manufacturing sites are not the only factor that raises concern over safety of the drugs circulated in market. The focus of the industry is gearing towards biopharmaceutical products that include blood plasma, insulin, vaccine or other biological pharmaceuticals that need tailor-made shipping services at all places and time.
The EMA notes that disruption in supply of medicines can lead to failure to treat; the use of less desirable and often expensive, unfamiliar alternative medicinal products; an increased potential for errors and poorer patient outcomes caused by absent or delayed treatment or incidence of preventable adverse events associated with alternative medicinal products or dosage forms.
Taking note of such instances, implementation of an effective supply chain system enables pharmaceutical companies to manage inventory levels to match current and future demand of products and support complex replenishment and logistics processes.