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Disrupting the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain in 2020

November 1, 2019

 

The pharmaceutical industry has undergone extensive restructuring, thus creating an innovative pharma spark, emphasizing the immediate need for new procedural development and progressive discoveries.

 

By uncomplicating current supply chain protocols and increasing utilization and efficiency, 2020 can spearhead the thorough renovation needed to supplement existing pharmaceutical transports. Progressive disruption continues as we inevitably begin to see the industry morphing into a stand-alone differentiator within the market and being receptive to accessible information. Supply chain models will experience granular optimization based on manufacturing needs and the forecasted plan for mass-market distribution.

 

Due to the lack of initiative being observed by the pharmaceutical industry to adapt to impending predictive alterations, the companies that are beginning notable restructuring implementations are, unfortunately, only temporary contributions based on short-term and immediate challenges.

 

Public Judgement

 

Scrutiny and increased due diligence are both on the rise as compliance and regulatory factors become increasingly micro-managed. This can undoubtedly be attributed to the surge in general public awareness.

 

“In 2009, for example, the FDA recalled a record 1,742 medicines. A single company accounted for more than 1,000 recalls but, even when these are stripped out of the picture, the number of recalls still rose by 50% year on year.” [PwC.com Pharma 2020: Supplying the Future – Which path will you take?]

 

The FDA does not stand alone in stricter regulations where pharmaceuticals are involved. Other governing bodies and regulatory administrations are also raising the bar, especially where counterfeits are being excessively reported.

 

This risk-management undoubtedly gets passed down the entire supply chain, increasing the immediate awareness and need for full transparency and tracking capabilities with the adoption of pioneering technologies.

 

Bridging the Gap

 

New technologies in Pharma’s sectors including research and development, manufacturing, distribution, interface, and collaborative software have all collectively come to the realization and understanding that certain digitized processes must be integrated across the board in order to fully monetize production.

 

Pharma stands to gain the most by strategically implementing various technologies poised to increase streamlined manufacturing protocols while also making post factory distribution more efficient.

 

Leveraging software and programs with the capabilities to increase visibility and overall transparency will pinpoint specific economies showing the most potential to scale and expand in.

 

When new innovations are introduced to an entire industry - especially an industry which until recently had been digitally stagnant - an urgency for comprehensive collaboration naturally arises. On-purpose collaborative efforts from all parties involved are essential to the flow of information and end-to-end alignment.

 

By allowing all parties to clearly see the whole picture, you not only create a well-oiled machine, but a more accurate procedure for predictive analysis and precise indicators used for market forecasting.

 

Case study as told by PwC in their 2020 Pharma synopsis: “Collaborating to cut the kilometers: In September 2009, confectionery giants Nestle and Mars joined forces with a leading British supermarket chain to synchronize deliveries of their products over the busy Christmas period and reduce their environmental footprint. The two manufacturers worked closely together to coordinate their deliveries to three regional distribution centers so that any part load order that either company received could be combined in one truck load. By dint of collaborating, they eliminated over 12,000 kilometers of duplicate journeys.” [PwC]

 

Restructuring Supply Chains – What Are the Options?

 

We can break Pharma down into two primary categories here. The first category involves pharmaceuticals focused primarily on specialist therapies, while the other category rests predominantly on mass-market medicines. It goes without saying that the larger companies may expand into both categories, but their individualized needs remain consistent based on the specific sector.

 

Each category has two main options for implementing into their supply chain.

 

Options for companies focused on specialist therapies:

 

  1. Operate solely using virtual supply chains.

  2. Become innovators in their service sector.

 

Options for companies focused on mass-market medicines. These specifically include generic medicines and over-the-counter products.

 

  1. Restructure manufacturing to become more cost-effective.

  2. Generate more profit by servicing other organizations while leveraging restructured and customized supply chains.

 

The above suggestions are flexible and heavily dependent on operations, acquisitions, demands, specific skills, and other various supply chain needs.

 

Which Way Should the Information Flow?

 

If 2020 is the year of the pharmaceutical overhaul, then the accurate flow of information delivered in a timely manner is crucial to the efficiency of consumer delivery and satisfaction.

 

Customized offerings and individualized prescriptions, delivered to a door with the use of tech heavy e-prescriptions, will require proper management and oversight of granular data that is being constantly optimized.

 

Data comes in >> Optimized data goes out.

 

That fast and that efficient.

 

The management of data now becomes just as important as the management of products and can essentially be broken down into three main tiers.

 

TIER ONE: Pharma

 

TIER TWO: Information received to make products to order | Information to facilitate load planning and distribution | Delivery transparency and tracking capabilities | Patient

 

TIER THREE: Information received for patient wellness services | Individualized medical information used to optimize service offerings | Patient

 

In Conclusion

 

When the type of product changes, so too must the moving parts that are in direct correlation. This is what we are beginning to see take place within the pharmaceutical industry. Medicines are changing and technologies are being integrated across the board. These changes increase the need to quickly adapt and deconstruct the current supply chain with novel efficiencies.

 

The pharmaceutical supply chain must take center stage as the nuances of this industry continue to rise in terms of sheer complexity. As with any sector of business, those who continue to rise to the top are the ones who adapt the quickest.

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