An overview of the global pharmaceutical logistics market
Keeping pharmaceutical products undamaged and therapeutically effective during their journey to the market can often prove to be an arduous and complex task. Once outside the sterile manufacturing and packaging facility, the risk of product contamination during the pharmaceutical logistics process can be high. The handling of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products during the pharma logistics process is a complicated business irrespective of the mode of transport and presents unique challenges. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical industry is heavily segmented, resulting in an increased level of M& activity in the sector. The pharmaceutical industry is also experiencing a geographic shift in its major production locations and sales markets. Asia and South America, in particular, are becoming increasingly attractive markets for companies in the sector. But these markets are regarded as the most challenging in terms of supply chain and pharmaceutical logistics operations. As technology and innovation in the pharmaceutical space mature, we can expect advanced and risk-free pharma supply chain and logistics processes in the near future. In this article, Infiniti’s thought leaders answer some key questions relating to pharmaceutical logistics.
What are some of the biggest pharmaceutical logistics challenges facing companies currently?
Supply chain visibility is one of the key challenges facing pharmaceutical logistics. This could become a serious challenge especially for companies that intensively deal with regulatory affairs. Pharma manufacturers must overcome this barrier as better supply chain visibility into pharmaceutical logistics as it helps enhance shipment lead times, analyze customer sales projections can drive efficiency benefits, reduce inventories, and improve fulfillment rates. Furthermore, challenges related to increased globalization are presenting suppliers, consumers, and regulatory bodies in the pharmaceutical logistics space with increased risk and uncertainties.
What are some of the key region-specific insights on pharmaceutical logistics?
Pharma logistics are highly mature in Western Europe and the United States. In the future, we can expect least number of supply chain issues from Nordic countries. At present, emerging markets including China and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Eastern Europe look highly lucrative for growth in the pharmaceutical industry. As the demand for modern medical treatments and healthcare products rises in these emerging and ‘high-potential’ nations, pharmaceutical companies are moving to unfamiliar territories and cultures and also learning about the accompanying supply chain challenges in these regions. These roadblocks include unstable regulatory environment and underdeveloped logistics infrastructure.
Why is it beneficial for pharma companies to outsource logistics services?
Most of the top benefits of outsourcing pharmaceutical logistics and supply chain include cost benefits. Outsourcing transportation and warehousing help life sciences companies to considerably reduce their overall costs. However, outsourcing does not completely solve supply chain visibility challenges. Moreover, factors including the rise of generics, the fall of the blockbuster model, and a sharp increase in R&D cost are putting companies in the pharmaceutical industry under pressure to bring down costs. Outsourcing logistics is an effective way to reduce the overall costs and also reduce the total time-to-market.
What criteria are most important while choosing a logistics service provider?
Consistency and reliability of services are two key traits that are paramount characteristics to consider while selecting a pharmaceutical logistics service provider. The provider’s industry experience and reputation in terms of safety and security of material handling should also be taken into consideration. Top pharmaceutical companies are already using outsourcing as a strategic part of the company’s overall business strategy especially to establish consistency and efficiency across the international supply chain network. To ensure continued partnership with pharmaceutical companies, logistics service providers must safeguard the confidentiality of the proprietary knowledge, prove its reliability in services, offer continuous improvements, and comply with the regulatory requirements of their clients.