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The challenges of today’s pharmaceutical logistics no longer stop at cost saving. Optimizing, securing and managing shipments across the entire chain guarantees optimal, efficient and productive logistics as well as respect for the integrity of the medicines shipped.
With increasingly strict regulations, increased security constraints (the fight against counterfeiting), lower margins for pharmaceutical companies (generic medicines and delisting of products for reimbursement driving down prices) and growing environmental concerns, it is necessary to optimize medicine distribution networks.
However, with globalization, the medicine distribution chains are expanding and becoming more complex. Every laboratory is becoming the strategic conductor of its production: they are calling on research laboratories and CROs (Contract Research Organizations) to carry out clinical trials and research and are even subcontracting the manufacturing of medicines. From a logistics point of view, laboratories are organizing themselves internally and favouring the pooling of flows.
More and more pharmaceutical laboratories are moving towards end-to-end management of their logistics, from the manufacturing of medicines right up to delivery within hospitals and pharmacies. The challenge? Managing distribution, both in terms of cost management and risk management linked to transportation. A challenge made all the more complex when the medicines have to be kept at controlled temperatures.
Out of the 50 pharmaceutical products which will be the world’s best-selling in 2020, 1 medicine out of 2 will need to be stored within a specific temperature range (the most common being between +2°C and +8°C). Transportation of these medicines must take place in a temperature-controlled environment. However, the logistical circuits are complex , with many players: production and distribution centre, third-party logistics service providers, hauliers, agents, wholesale distributors and lastly healthcare establishments.
The responsibility of the pharmaceutical laboratory is considerable in the logistics circuit: it must be able to provide the patient with an effective, undamaged product. The challenge is to transport it in the best possible conditions to keep it at the correct temperature until it is administered or delivered to the patient. Management of the cold chain up to the healthcare establishments is already well-established for pharmaceutical companies, it is however the last mile which tends to be problematic, as the healthcare professionals do not always have enough training and are not always equipped to deal with cold chain healthcare products.
Sofrigam fully understands the problems encountered by healthcare establishments in managing heat-sensitive medicines. Our cold chain experts have met with hospitals and pharmacies in order to understand their problems and assist them. This has led us to develop insulated bags to allow the transfer of heat-sensitive healthcare products between departments without the risk of breaking the cold chain, and insulated pouches allowing patients to keep their treatment cold on leaving the pharmacy.
We also assist pharmaceutical companies whose challenges are very different: reducing the cost of transport, optimizing shipments, facilitating the handling and loading of insulated boxes.
Sofrigam is your end-to-end cold chain pharmaceutical logistics partner with insulated solutions adapted to each player in the medicine logistics chain.
Talk with our experts at the LogiPharma trade show on 25 and 26 April in Montreux, Switzerland.