This time of year, we always reflect on one of the most important tasks for any organization—being prepared for the unexpected. It is important to have a contingency plan at every point in the pharmaceutical supply chain — for every organization that has a role in that supply chain.
We can utilize technology to track the status of online purchases or the current location of our vehicles, smartphones, and even friends and family members. It would make sense then that we would want to take advantage of these same types of technologies as it pertains to the risk mitigation of our sensitive and high value pharmaceutical shipments.
Weigh & dispense operations play a crucial part in pharmaceutical material handling and storage. So, while weigh & dispense specialists are valued for their technical skills and command of the hardware, let’s not forget the human aspects and critical “soft” skills of the people who do this essential work every day.
Life sciences companies with complex warehousing and shipping requirements have a lot of questions – particularly when their requirements include temperature-controlled shipping. For a potential solution provider, it’s not enough just to have a refrigerated warehouse and trucks. The product may not even need refrigeration – it may need to be kept at or near room temperature. How can the pharmaceutical company identify a logistics vendor with the right competency? Here are five basic questions a pharmaceutical company operations manager can use to evaluate a vendor’s qualifications to provide a high-value solution:
Materials moving through the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain encounter many threats which could negatively impact product integrity. In order to adequately determine the level of control required to ensure safe transport of products, one must perform various risk assessments. Performing a risk assessment will provide visibility into the different risk factors and allow for proper resource allocation to mitigate those risks based on their potential impact. Based on the findings of these risk assessments, you can determine if the need for performing a full shipping lane qualification is recommended.
Do you know which type of aliquot of material to request when needing a portion of a batch or lot? Sampling and dispensing are two services provided to help release materials for use, as well as meet manufacturing goals. These materials include APIs (active ingredient in pharmaceutical products) and excipients (inactive substance, filler, bulking agent). To see if you know when to use sampling versus dispensing, test yourself with the following questions:
Regardless of where your organization operates in the pharmaceutical supply chain, chances are that your successful outcomes are a product of (1) internal expertise and (2) beneficial partnerships.
Synergies amongst these partnerships are a potential reality. But, if you’re struggling to achieve legitimate value, take advantage of this 3-step process to strengthen your supply chain partnerships:
While many industries have few repercussions for an occasional late shipment (minus an agitated customer or two), the pharmaceutical industry isn’t one of these. Late arrivals in the pharmaceutical realm can point to temperature excursions, product degradation, or even the loss of a life if an urgent treatment has been delayed.
Obviously, many things are out of your control once your product is in transit. So, analyze (and then fix) the processes that are in your control to improve your metrics. To get you started, here are five areas that may be worth evaluation:
Just as you wouldn’t decide upon a large purchase without gathering the information required to make an informed decision, our pharmaceutical shipping programs deserve the same attention. Gathering metrics and using them to determine optimal solutions on an individual shipment basis is easier than you think and will improve your performance as well as protect your valuable pharmaceutical products to ensure viability.