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May 15, 2023

Challenges in pharma supply chain

Today, the pharmaceutical industry is an important part of the global economy. With the growing demand for medicines, the challenges of ensuring the quality and quantity of products in the pharmaceutical supply chain are becoming more complex. These issues affect not only medicine manufacturers, but also distributors, wholesalers and pharmacies. If you want to know what challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing in supply chain management and learn about other pharmaceutical supply chain issues, be sure to read the full article.

Pharma supply chain challenges

The pharmaceutical industry has a complex supply chain, from receiving raw materials to distributing finished products. In addition, it involves organizing transportation by road, sea, air, or rail, managing warehouses and packaging, or return logistics. For this reason, challenges in the pharma supply chain can raise many questions and emotions – including negative ones. So how to deal with it?

The pharmaceutical supply chain faces several challenges that can affect medicine qumedicineality, safety, and availability. Here are some common challenges in the pharmaceutical supply chain:

Regulatory compliance

The pharmaceutical supply chain is subject to strict regulations and regulatory norms that vary from country to country. As a result, meeting them can be challenging, especially for companies operating in multiple countries.

Cold chain management

Many medicines and vaccines require specific conditions in transport – regarding temperature, humidity, and storage. Therefore, maintaining the cold chain can be challenging, especially in regions with inadequate infrastructure or extreme climatic conditions.

Supply chain visibility

Lack of supply chain visibility can make tracking medicines from manufacturer to patient difficult, increasing the risk of medicine counterfeiting, diversion, and other problems.

Supply chain disruptions

Natural disasters, geopolitical instability, and other factors can disrupt the medicine supply chain, causing shortages and delays in medicine deliveries.

Cost pressures

The cost of medicines is a significant concern for patients, payers, and governments. However, pressure to reduce costs can lead to supply chain inefficiencies such as stockouts and suboptimal inventory management.

Supply chain disruptions in the pharmaceutical industry require cooperation and openness to innovation among all stakeholders in the medicine supply chain to ensure adequate conditions in transit, thereby positively impacting patient safety and health.

Supply chain disruption in the pharmaceutical industry – how to overcome all of them?

Among the effective ways to overcome pharma supply chain challenges are:

Diversification of the supply chain

Relying on a single supplier or region for key raw materials or finished products can increase the risk of disruption in the medical supply chain. Diversifying the supply chain can reduce this risk.

Improvement of supply chain visibility

Improved supply chain visibility can help identify potential disruptions early and enable proactive mitigation strategies. For example, when medicines are transported in 1500X SkyCell hybrid transporters, the location of the load can be tracked in real-time, making it easier to anticipate potential delays.

Leveraging digitization

Digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing can improve supply chain visibility, enhance data sharing and enable real-time tracking of critical supply chain parameters. SkyCell software, for example, plays a vital role in quality processes, and data-driven risk assessments allow accurate testing of shipping lane viability, as well as the identification of risk factors. In addition, the IoT sensors used by SkyCell can track container shipments and help monitor the temperature. This way, responding remotely to dangerous situations at all stages of the medicine journey is possible.

Ensuring proper conditions in transit

Medicines are transported from one end of the world to the other. When this happens, the challenges in the pharma supply chain become temperature, weather, and humidity. However, by choosing containers that are adapted to changing conditions, such as 1500X, these problems disappear. SkyCell’s hybrid containers use hardware and software to provide a unique cold chain solution, with internal temperatures ranging from +15°C to +25°C to sub-zero temperatures of -60°C to -80°C. It also has shock-absorbing feet that effectively reduce microcracks and shocks that could damage glass medicine vials during transport.

By implementing the above mentioned strategies, the pharmaceutical industry can overcome supply chain disruptions and ensure patients can access the quality medicines they need.

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