Pharma community collaborates with regulators to battle annual loses of pharmaceuticals

Published: Friday, October 7, 2016

The cool chain community must work closely with regulators to ensure the global pharma market, estimated to be worth $1.1 trillion a year globally, benefits from harmonised regulations, delegates at the Cool Chain Association (CCA)’s Pharma and Biosciences Conference 2016 heard in Dubai recently.

A more unified approach is needed by pharma supply chain providers to address the evolving needs of the cool chain shipper and help to combat annual losses of up to $35 billion resulting from wasted pharmaceutical product temperature excursions.

“Temperature controlled logistics is expected to grow by nine percent every year, leading to a global cool chain industry worth around $16.7 billion by 2020,” said Sebastiaan Scholte, Chairman, CCA.

“Open dialogue between industry and regulators is vital to ensure every voice in the cool chain is heard to help us achieve a slicker, more transparent supply chain that meets the evolving needs of the pharmaceutical marketplace.”

Delegates at the two-day CCA event, which brought together over 140 experts from all sectors of the global pharma supply chain, heard that the industry had seen significant changes over the last decade.

A wave of new regulations has spurred the launch of initiatives such as the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA)’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) accreditation scheme, and focused the attention of airports on building specialised pharma zones.

Therese Puetz, Chief Executive Officer, Karavan Management Consulting, told the conference the cool chain ‘toolbox’ had also seen great advancements, such as unit load devices (ULD)s with rechargeable batteries, improved covers for protecting temperature-sensitive cargo, and real-time global tracking, as well as the use of nearfield communications (NFC) to better monitor and protect pharmaceutical products.

She also pointed to halal pharma as a growing and important market.

The smart cool chain is the next innovation and this is where the tailoring will happen, she said.

But better communication is needed with the shipper, including ensuring a clearer understanding of the implication of initiatives such as the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines and IATA’s CEIV programme, which are a “step in the right direction” towards global harmony, Bert Allard Jorritsma, Manager Special Cargo & Services Delivery, Emirates SkyCargo, told delegates.

The next CCA event is the Cool Chain Association Pharma and Perishables Event in Dallas, Texas, USA from 5th to 6th December 2016.