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Emerging Trends in Pharmaceutical Logistics Regulations: What Logistics Businesses Need To Know


Emerging Trends in Pharmaceutical Logistics Regulations: What Logistics Businesses Need To Know

Compliance with laws and regulations is critical in any business. In particular, logistics companies dealing with pharmaceutical products must remain on top of the latest trends. 

The nature of pharmaceuticals adds an extra layer of complexity to compliance. Additionally, regulations change, so businesses must adapt accordingly. Failure to comply leads to hefty fines and even legal action. Therefore, it is a challenge that they must overcome.

In this article, we explore emerging trends in pharmaceutical logistic regulations. What do logistics businesses need to know? How should they keep up with regulatory changes? Let’s get started.

I. Adapting to a Changing Regulatory Landscape

In 2024, the pharmaceutical industry faces a fast-evolving regulatory environment. This shift presents unique challenges for logistics companies.

Navigating Regulatory Changes

The regulatory landscape is continuously shifting, especially in major jurisdictions such as the US and EU. Logistics companies must stay informed about these changes. Staying on top of new guidance documents and regulatory proposals is crucial.

Both the FDA and the EU Commission have published new guidelines that affect pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution. Logistics companies need to adapt to these changes to ensure compliance.

Addressing Skills Shortages

The availability of staff with the necessary regulatory skills is a challenge in 2024. This shortage affects logistics companies as they strive to comply with new regulations. 

Companies must either train existing staff or hire new talent with the required skills. Partnering with specialized service providers can also be a solution to fill these skills gaps.

Embracing Digitalization and Automation

Digital transformation is critical for adapting to regulatory changes. Logistics companies are increasingly digitalizing and automating their processes.

This transition helps in improving accuracy, productivity, and efficiency. It’s also a strategic response to the skills shortage in the industry. Digital tools can simplify compliance and quality control processes, making them more efficient.

Utilizing Data for Compliance and Efficiency

Data is becoming increasingly important in managing regulatory compliance and quality control. Logistics companies are enhancing their data capabilities through equipment and platform integration. This shift towards digitalization enables fully digitalized processes, reducing reliance on paper-based systems.

Proper data usage leads to productivity gains, increased transparency, and reduced compliance costs. It also helps decrease product recalls and adverse events, thereby improving consumer confidence.

Logistics companies in the pharma sector must go through a complex and shifting regulatory environment. Adapting to the challenges above is essential for maintaining compliance and efficiency in an increasingly regulated industry.

II. Increased Scrutiny of Patents and AI in Drug Development

Two significant developments influence the pharmaceutical logistics sector in 2024. First, there is enhanced scrutiny in patent laws. Second, artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly playing a role in drug development.

Enhanced Scrutiny in Patent Laws

Pharmaceutical patents have evolved legally. This follows the Federal Circuit applying Amgen’s enablement standard in the Medytox case. This change marks a move towards a more thorough examination of patent disclosures, particularly for method claims. 

For logistics companies in the pharmaceutical field, understanding these changes is vital. 

Patents are central to pharmaceutical innovation and distribution. Thus, increased scrutiny affects how logistics businesses handle and distribute pharmaceutical products. Staying informed about these legal changes is essential for compliance. Moreover, it also supports effective operation within the industry.

Rising Role of AI in Drug Development

Another critical development is the growing incorporation of AI in drug development. A notable milestone was the progression of the first AI-generated drug candidate into phase two studies in 2023. This event highlights not only a scientific advance but also a shift in regulatory focus. 

The FDA’s initiatives on AI and machine learning in drug development indicate a significant recognition of AI’s future role. For logistics firms, this means anticipating and adapting to changes that AI may bring to pharmaceutical production processes. 

As AI shapes drug development, it will likely influence logistics strategies from manufacturing to distribution.

III. Quality Risk Management and Supply Chain Security

The year 2024 will see greater emphasis on quality risk management and supply chain security in the pharmaceuticals sector. Logistics companies must adapt to new regulations that focus on this trend.

Revising Risk Management Strategies

The update in ICH Q9 guidelines means logistics companies need to change how they manage risks. Adapting to these standards is vital for maintaining inventory control according to new rules. This change helps avoid quality problems and product recalls, which is crucial in the pharmaceutical industry’s regulated environment.

Improving Supply Chain Security

New regulations require logistics companies to make their supply chains more secure. This involves using different suppliers and better risk management. These steps keep inventory levels steady and meet the requirements of new regulations that aim to reduce supply chain problems.

Meeting ESG Regulatory Requirements

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are now more important in regulations. Logistics companies must follow these new rules while keeping patient safety in mind. This means balancing environmental concerns with the safety of pharmaceutical products.

Integrating New Quality Regulations

The rise of biosimilars and expiring drug patents bring new quality regulations. Logistics companies should work with partners who know how to handle these new rules. This helps ensure that the entire supply chain follows the latest regulatory standards.


Trends in pharmaceutical regulations will put pressure on logistics companies to keep up. The key is to stay informed and be ready to adapt. Doing so helps you comply and maintain operational effectiveness. For more insights and guidance on tackling these challenges, subscribe to the Global Trade Magazine. We are the go-to resource for US companies engaging in global business.


Pediatric Pharma Boom: Surging to $363.86 Billion by 2032, Transforming Child Health Globally!

The global pediatric drugs market is undergoing a significant transformation, poised to reach a staggering USD 363.86 billion by 2032 from its estimated USD 115.6 billion in 2022. This remarkable growth, at a CAGR of 12.2%, is fueled by a surge in pediatric disorders and an increasing global pediatric population. The pharmaceutical landscape is witnessing groundbreaking innovations tailored specifically for children, driven by initiatives like the WHO’s prioritization of pediatric antibiotic compositions.

Innovation Driving Market Growth:

Advancements in pediatric research, a broader spectrum of clinical trials, and increased investment in personalized medications for children are propelling the pediatric drugs market forward. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are focusing on developing drugs designed for the unique needs of pediatric patients. For instance, Aurobindo Pharma’s release of an HIV triple combination medicine for pediatric patients in low- and middle-income countries showcases the industry’s commitment to pediatric drug formulations.

Recent Pediatric Oncology Drug Approvals:

The pharmaceutical sector is witnessing remarkable progress in pediatric oncology drugs, with recent FDA approvals including Debrafenib and Trametinib for treating low-grade glioma in children aged 1 and older. Nivolumab, approved for adults and children aged 12 and above with melanoma, and Crizotinib for refractory inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor in pediatric patients aged 1 and older, reflect the industry’s dedication to addressing childhood cancers.

Specialized Pharmaceuticals Driving Growth:

The demand for specialized pharmaceuticals tailored to pediatric requirements is escalating, driven by the rising prevalence of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, and neurological disorders in children. The pharmaceutical industry recognizes the unique physiological and developmental characteristics of children, leading to increased research and development efforts for drugs specifically designed for this demographic.

Respiratory Disorders Dominating the Market:

Respiratory disorder drugs hold the largest market share in the pediatric drugs market, driven by compromised immunity, heightened pollution levels, and increased allergen exposure leading to chronic respiratory disorders like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The market is further fueled by initiatives to develop drugs for rare autoimmune disorders, contributing to the overall growth of the pediatric drugs market.

Rising Prevalence of Diseases in Pediatric Population:

The pediatric drugs market is witnessing robust growth due to the increasing incidence of chronic disorders, including anorexia, asthma, diabetes, childhood cancer, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The surge in chronic disorders emphasizes the crucial role of pediatric drugs in safeguarding and improving the well-being of children globally.

Advancement in Healthcare Infrastructure:

The escalation of healthcare investment is playing a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of the pediatric drug market. Increased healthcare expenditure, coupled with efforts to enhance healthcare infrastructure, is fostering market growth. The awareness among parents, caregivers, and healthcare practitioners is also contributing to the demand for pediatric medications, with governments introducing incentives to encourage research and development in this field.

Market Segmentation:

The pediatric drugs market is segmented by drug type, route of administration, distribution channel, and geography. Key drug types include antibiotics, analgesics, antipyretics, respiratory drugs, gastrointestinal drugs, central nervous system drugs, vaccines, and others. The route of administration encompasses oral, topical, parental, and distribution channels include hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies.

Geographical Landscape:

North America dominates the pediatric drugs market, driven by rising healthcare spending, a supportive regulatory framework, and a significant pediatric patient demographic. Asia-Pacific is poised for significant growth, fueled by an expanding pediatric population and increased healthcare investments.

Key Market Players:

Leading pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer Inc., Novartis International AG, GSK plc., Sanofi S.A., AstraZeneca plc, Merck & Co., Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Roche Holding AG, Eli Lilly and Company, and Abbott Laboratories are at the forefront of shaping the pediatric drugs market.


The pediatric drugs market is experiencing unprecedented growth, driven by innovation, a focus on specialized pharmaceuticals, and a rising prevalence of pediatric disorders. The industry’s commitment to addressing the unique therapeutic needs of children, coupled with advancements in healthcare infrastructure, positions pediatric drugs as a crucial component in safeguarding the health and well-being of the global pediatric population.

Report Source:

pharma pharmaceutical

Pharmaceutical Temperature Controlled Packaging Solutions Market Predicted To Reach Around USD 945.2 Million By 2030

The global pharmaceutical temperature-controlled packaging solutions market was valued at USD 578.9 million in 2022 and is predicted to reach around USD 945.2 million by 2030, growing at a 6.30% CAGR from 2022 to 2030.

The pharmaceutical temperature-controlled packaging solutions market has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for temperature-sensitive medications and the need for effective packaging solutions to maintain product integrity. 

Riding the Waves: Factors Driving Market Expansion

  1. Escalating Demand for Drug Safety Assurance

As the pharmaceutical industry continues to witness unprecedented advancements, the demand for robust temperature-controlled packaging solutions is surging. Stakeholders are increasingly recognizing the critical role played by these solutions in safeguarding the efficacy of medications, especially those susceptible to temperature variations.

  1. Stringent Regulatory Standards

The stringent regulatory landscape governing pharmaceutical logistics amplifies the need for cutting-edge temperature-controlled packaging. Adhering to international standards not only ensures compliance but also instills confidence in consumers and stakeholders, driving the market towards sustained growth.

North America has emerged as the dominant market for temperature-controlled packaging solutions in the pharmaceutical industry, capturing a significant market share. This growth can be attributed to the increasing demand from the healthcare sector. The region experiences a strong need for transporting vaccines and drugs and conducting clinical trials, leading to substantial growth in the temperature-controlled packaging sector. 

China, known as the “world’s factory,” has played a crucial role in this disruption. The widespread lockdowns, slowdowns in product manufacturing, shortage of raw materials, and labour scarcities have had a domino effect on the international supply chain, specifically impacting North America’s temperature-controlled pharmaceutical packaging market.

Navigating Growth Trends: A 2022-2030 Outlook

  1. Cold Chain Innovations

In the wake of technological evolution, the pharmaceutical temperature-controlled packaging solutions market is witnessing a paradigm shift. Innovations in the cold chain, leveraging state-of-the-art materials and design, are enhancing the efficiency and reliability of these solutions, catering to the evolving demands of the industry.

  1. Biopharmaceuticals and Personalized Medicine

The rise of biopharmaceuticals and personalized medicine presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for temperature-controlled packaging. With an increasing focus on precision medicine, packaging solutions must adapt to accommodate diverse formulations and maintain the integrity of these cutting-edge pharmaceuticals.

Projections and Beyond: Anticipated Market Landscape

  1. Regional Dynamics

Examining the market through a regional lens reveals diverse growth patterns. While established pharmaceutical markets contribute significantly to the current valuation, emerging economies are anticipated to play a pivotal role in propelling the market forward. This global landscape underscores the need for adaptable and scalable temperature-controlled packaging solutions.

  1. Collaboration and Partnerships

To stay ahead in this competitive landscape, industry players are fostering collaborations and partnerships. These strategic alliances not only facilitate knowledge exchange but also pave the way for innovative solutions, driving market expansion and ensuring a competitive edge.

Crisis and Resilience: Analysing the COVID-19 Impact on the Temperature-Controlled Pharmaceuticals Solution Packaging Market

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant and transformative impact on the temperature-controlled pharmaceutical packaging market. As the world grapples with the challenges posed by the global health crisis, the demand for temperature-controlled packaging solutions for pharmaceuticals has skyrocketed. The pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of maintaining pharmaceutical products’ efficacy, safety, and integrity, especially vaccines and other temperature-sensitive medications.

Comparative Landscape Analysis of the Temperature-Controlled Pharmaceuticals Solution Packaging Market 

The temperature-controlled pharmaceutical solution packaging market refers to the industry that provides packaging solutions for pharmaceutical products that require strict temperature control to maintain their efficacy and safety. This market has witnessed significant growth in recent years due to the increasing demand for temperature-sensitive drugs and the need to ensure their quality during storage and transportation. 

The comparative landscape of the temperature-controlled pharmaceutical solution packaging market involves analysing the key players and their market positions, strategies, product offerings, and competitive advantages.

Major Key Players in The Temperature-Controlled Pharmaceuticals Solution Packaging Market Are: 

Pelican Biothermal, Sonoco, Sofrigam SA Ltd., Cryopak, Inmark Packaging, Cold Chain Technologies, VA-Q-Tec AG, Envirotainer Ltd., and American Aerogel Corporation

Recent Development – 

  • In March 2022, Cold Chain Technologies, LLC, a prominent global provider of thermal packaging solutions for temperature-sensitive products and Aurora Capital Partners portfolio company, completed the acquisition of Packaging Technology Group, LLC (PTG). PTG is a leading supplier of environmentally friendly and curbside-recyclable thermal packaging solutions specifically tailored for the life sciences industry. This strategic acquisition further solidifies Cold Chain Technologies commitment to providing sustainable, eco-friendly packaging solutions.

The integration of PTG’s renowned TRUEtemp Naturals Line, initially launched in 2018, enhances Cold Chain Technologies’ ability to deliver exceptional time-temperature performance at pharmaceutical-grade levels while ensuring a packaging solution that is 100% curbside recyclable and environmentally conscious. Using PTG’s innovative solutions, customers can significantly reduce the life sciences sector’s carbon footprint by millions of pounds annually and minimize landfill waste.

  • In December 2022, in response to the increasing demand for environmentally friendly packaging solutions for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, Sonoco ThermoSafe, a division of Sonoco, a leading producer of cold chain packaging for temperature assurance, is expanding its Orion Rental packaging program in the United Kingdom. 

The Orion reusable rental packaging initiative provides UK healthcare organizations with access to a wide range of biologics, vaccines, clinical supplies, and other healthcare products that require specific temperature control during transportation. 

  • On March 10, 2023, Cryopak, a renowned cold chain packaging and temperature monitoring device provider announced a strategic partnership with M. Chasen & Son, Inc. to establish Chasen Fiber Technologies. 

This collaboration aims to bolster Cryopak’s commitment to environmentally-friendly shipping solutions by leveraging the expertise and resources of both companies. Chasen Fiber Technologies will focus on developing innovative fiber-based technologies to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of the shipping industry.

Report Source:


pharma pharmaceutical

Pharmaceutical Packaging Market Boasting a Remarkable CAGR Of 10.7%

The pharmaceutical packaging market is on the cusp of a transformative journey, poised to redefine the landscape of healthcare delivery. With an estimated market size projected to soar from USD 117.23 billion in 2022 to an astounding USD 322.50 billion by 2032, boasting a remarkable CAGR of 10.7%, the global pharmaceutical packaging market is not just expanding; it’s evolving. In this article, we delve into the forces propelling this growth and the implications for the future.

Riding the Wave of Technological Advancements

Smart Packaging Solutions:

  • The integration of sensors and RFID technology is revolutionizing packaging, ensuring product authenticity and integrity.

Eco-Friendly Materials:

  • The industry is embracing biodegradable materials, a significant stride towards sustainability.

Pharmaceutical Packaging Market: North America Leading with Highest Value Share

North America, particularly the United States, dominates the pharmaceutical packaging market in this region. Stringent regulations, advanced healthcare infrastructure, and a strong focus on patient safety and compliance drive the market. Key market drivers include the demand for tamper-evident and child-resistant packaging and the growing emphasis on sustainable packaging solutions. The market is highly competitive, with significant players catering to the diverse needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

The United States holds a commanding position in the North American pharmaceutical packaging market. Renowned for its well-established pharmaceutical industry, the country provides a conducive environment for major pharmaceutical companies and packaging manufacturers to thrive.

Regulatory Compliance: Navigating the Complexities

Tamper-Evident Packaging:

  • Stringent regulations drive the adoption of tamper-evident features, safeguarding pharmaceutical products.

Serialization Imperative:

  • Meeting serialization requirements is shaping packaging designs, enhancing traceability and security.

Patient-Centric Innovation: Beyond the Prescription

Accessible Packaging Design:

  • Packaging is evolving to prioritize accessibility, facilitating ease of use for patients.

Information Accessibility:

  • Patient-friendly packaging ensures clear and comprehensive information dissemination, empowering individuals in their healthcare journey.

Supply Chain Resilience: Ensuring Smooth Production in the Pharmaceutical Packaging Market

  • International Paper Company offers packaging solutions for various end-user industries, including the pharmaceutical industry. The company published its annual report for 2022, according to which the company’s net sales reached up to $21.2 billion in 2022.
  • Syntegon is a company that offers packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. According to the company’s statement, the order income increased by 3.0% in 2022. 
  • The company invested 49 million Euros in research and development activities. 
  • While expanding its business for packaging solutions, Syntegon installed 67,000 machines worldwide in 2022. 
  • In 2022, the company generated approximately 33% from North America and 35% from Asia.

Key Drivers of Growth in Pharmaceutical Packaging Market

Technological Advancements Revolutionizing Packaging Solutions

The advent of cutting-edge technologies has ushered in a new era of innovation within the pharmaceutical packaging realm. From smart packaging solutions to advanced labeling techniques, the industry is witnessing a rapid transformation that not only enhances product safety but also elevates user experience.

Stringent Regulatory Standards Fostering Innovation

Regulatory bodies across the globe are continuously raising the bar when it comes to packaging standards for pharmaceutical products. This has necessitated companies to invest heavily in research and development to ensure compliance. As a result, this heightened focus on compliance is driving the adoption of state-of-the-art packaging solutions.

Unveiling the Future: Technological Frontiers

Nanotechnology Integration:

  • The advent of nanotechnology in packaging promises enhanced drug delivery and preservation capabilities.

Personalized Medicine Packaging:

  • 3D printing is poised to revolutionize packaging for personalized medicine, tailoring solutions to individual patient needs.

AI and Machine Learning Integration:

  • The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning streamlines packaging processes, ensuring efficiency and quality control.

Challenges and Opportunities: A Balanced Perspective

Supply Chain Complexities:

  • The global nature of the pharmaceutical industry introduces challenges in the supply chain, prompting innovative solutions.

Emerging Market Opportunities:

  • Growing healthcare needs in emerging economies present untapped opportunities for the pharmaceutical packaging market.

The Road Ahead: A Commitment to Excellence

Patient Safety as the Priority:

  • As the industry expands, a steadfast commitment to ensuring patient safety remains paramount.

Transforming Healthcare Ecosystem:

  • Packaging is not merely a means to an end; it is a pivotal element reshaping the entire healthcare ecosystem.

Conclusion: Unveiling Tomorrow’s Healthcare Landscape

In conclusion, the global pharmaceutical packaging market is not just witnessing growth; it is navigating uncharted territories and revolutionizing the very fabric of healthcare. From adopting technological marvels to addressing regulatory intricacies and embracing sustainability, the industry is sculpting a future where pharmaceutical packaging is synonymous with innovation, safety, and patient-centricity.

As we stand at the threshold of this transformative journey, the convergence of technology, regulatory acumen, and a commitment to sustainability is painting a canvas of endless possibilities. The soaring trajectory of the global pharmaceutical packaging market is not merely a statistical projection; it is a testament to an industry’s resilience, adaptability, and dedication to enhancing global healthcare.

Report Source:


Generic Drugs Market Size is Expected to Worth of USD 738.53 Bn in 2032

Enhancing Accessibility: The Growing Influence of Generic Drugs Market

Unearthing the Potential: Generic Drugs Market Growth Trajectory (2022-2032)

The global generic drugs market is poised for remarkable expansion, with an estimated growth from USD 439.37 billion in 2022 to a projected USD 738.53 billion by 2032, showcasing a steady 5.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). This surge is attributed to an upswing in generic drug approvals and amplified investments within the generic drugs sector.

Pioneering Affordable Healthcare: A Decline in Generic Drug Expenditure

The generic drugs market embodies pharmaceutical products that mirror brand-name counterparts in active ingredients, dosage form, strength, route of administration, and intended use. This pivotal market segment plays a vital role in delivering cost-effective and accessible medications worldwide.

With the FDA’s endorsement of over 10,000 generic drugs, generics have claimed over 90% of dispensed prescriptions in the U.S., while accounting for just 18% of total expenditure. The generic drugs market is spurred by several catalysts. The expiration of patents on brand-name drugs creates an avenue for generic counterparts, fostering competition and driving down drug costs. Between 2016 and 2021, retail generic drug expenditure saw a consistent decline, while non-retail generic drug expenses exhibited a steady rise, reflecting a shift in spending patterns.

Curbing Healthcare Costs: The Impact of Generic Drugs

In the U.S., despite constituting only 3% of total healthcare spending, generic drugs proffer substantial cost savings vis-a-vis brand-name drugs. In 2021, the average copay for generic drugs stood at $6.16, in stark contrast to the $56.12 for brand-name equivalents. Moreover, 93% of generic drugs bore a copay of less than $20, while only 59% of brand-name drugs fell under this threshold. These statistics underscore the affordability and cost-effectiveness of generic drugs, cementing their status as a pivotal component in healthcare cost management.

Regional Dynamics: Thriving Markets and Opportunities

North America: A Pillar of the Global Generic Drugs Market

The United States, a stalwart in the global arena, commands a substantial share of the generic drugs market. In 2021, it witnessed the dispensation of 6.4 billion prescriptions, with 91% comprising generic and biosimilar medicines, translating to monumental cost savings. Generic pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. fuel accessibility, manufacturing the medicines for 9 out of 10 prescriptions dispensed.

Asia Pacific: A Growth Epicenter

The Asia Pacific region, spearheaded by India, emerges as a vanguard in the global generic drugs landscape. India, boasting a 20% share in the global supply, produces a diverse array of generic brands across 60 therapeutic categories. The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) embodies India’s commitment to affordable healthcare, with dedicated outlets disseminating quality generic medicines.

Seizing the Opportunity: Growing Drug Utilization

The escalating utilization of generic drugs is a boon for the pharmaceutical market. These rigorously scrutinized alternatives offer not only cost-effectiveness but also adhere to stringent safety and efficacy standards, gaining trust from patients and healthcare providers alike.

Competitive Landscape: Navigating a Dynamic Market

The generic drugs market is a battlefield for multinational pharmaceutical companies, regional players, and specialized generic drug manufacturers. Competitive differentiation hinges on product quality, pricing, supply chain efficiency, and regulatory compliance. Strategic decision-making, market intelligence, and innovative approaches are imperative to overcome market saturation and carve a niche in this fiercely competitive landscape. Some prominent players include Mylan N.V., Abbott Laboratories, ALLERGAN, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc., among others.

Competing in the Generic Drugs Market: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)

  • Strengths:
  • Diverse product range catering to varied patient needs.
  • Robust manufacturing capabilities ensuring high-quality products at competitive prices.
  • Weaknesses:
  • Limited patent exclusivity leading to heightened competition.
  • Lower brand recognition compared to branded drugs.
  • Opportunities:
  • Addressing the need for affordable treatment options.
  • Meeting the demand for medications to treat age-related diseases.
  • Threats:
  • Intense competition and potential price pressures.
  • Navigating complex regulatory frameworks and compliance standards.

Report Source:

pharmaceutical supply chain

How Pharmaceutical Brands can be Resilient: Let’s approach Supply Chain Resilience Holistically

While inflation and economic pressures, such as the recent US price reforms, force pharmaceutical brands to be even more frugal than usual, they will do well to not tackle cost efficiency as a solo issue. Brands require resilience in various areas, and chief among these is compliance. Stringent regulations must be followed, although the supply chains from which they are navigated, are incredibly complex. 

So, can brands manage resilience factors, such as costs and compliance, holistically? Supplier expert and HICX’s CEO, Costas Xyloyiannis, says they can. 

His view is that on the one hand, each factor has unique requirements, such as finding ways to cut costs or to stop risky activities. However, each factor also stems from a common cause: murky supply chains. By fixing poor-quality supplier data, therefore, brands can empower themselves to be robust.

Costas believes that pharmaceutical leaders who can achieve this balance, will futureproof their supply chains and gain true resilience. He offers three insights to leaders who want to get this right. 

  • Pharmaceutical supply chains are among the most complex.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the definition of ‘supplier’ is particularly complex. Typically, suppliers are highly specialized in relevant fields, such as healthcare and research, and they serve various manufacturing plants to meet a unique range of purposes.

Another characteristic of the industry is that it’s open to high levels of scrutiny. Businesses must comply in a heap of areas, for example, data and privacy, waste management and corporate social responsibility. Those who fail to keep up with and meet legislation face severe penalties. Hefty fines and reputational damage are just the tip of the iceberg. To stay compliant, these businesses request a vast amount of information from suppliers, and they need it to be accurate. Before it can be accurate, however, supplier information must be captured and stored coherently. 

  1. Complex digital setups are now a strategic disadvantage.

In practice, however, the way in which supplier information is captured and stored is haphazard. Over time pharmaceutical businesses have invested in various digital tools with which to transact with suppliers and manage them. The digital setup now is very complex: most tools are magnets for collecting and storing supplier data, which creates multiple datasets. And in this fragmented state, master data is compromised. It is riddled, when viewed as a whole, with outdated and duplicate entries which makes it difficult to tell which entries are accurate.

Supplier data informs what leaders decide and do, so when its quality is questionable so is the business’s ability to compete. First, bad data jeopardizes compliance which attracts penalties such as large fines and reputation damage. Next, when a pharmaceutical business can’t see what suppliers are doing, it can’t meet quality and performance thresholds, for example, maintaining a specific temperature during transportation or storage. This slashes revenue and long-term business prospects. Finally, low supply chain visibility compromises the time-sensitive business of outsourcing warehousing and distribution. It’s a competitive disadvantage, therefore, to have poor data. 

On the other hand, businesses with reliable data gain a strategic advantage. Suppliers and their information are vital assets. Their data is used by thousands of internal stakeholders and a whole array of functions—from Inventory Management and Quality Control, to the Board. Further, suppliers themselves directly impact performance. They represent value in the form of innovative ideas, supply in times of high demand, quality and much more. Businesses need suppliers. In fact, a recent HICX study revealed that suppliers are 24% more likely to go the extra mile for a customer of choice. It’s in a brand’s interest therefore to make the most of this vital relationship. HICX likes to think of this as Supplier Experience Management. 

  • Fixing key supplier challenges is beneficial, and possible.

Businesses that address supplier experience and data can be more resilient. The ability to be cost-efficient, compliant, and generally competitive, requires two virtues: accurate supplier data, and satisfied suppliers. 

To supply chains, accurate supplier data is the life-blood. It leads to compliance, which reduces the risk of fines and reputation damage. Further, it uncovers opportunities in supply chains with which businesses can make money. 

Resilience also comes more easily to those businesses whom suppliers like. The equation is straightforward: treat suppliers well and they will treat you well. HICX’s study also shows that when stock or output is low, suppliers are 20% more inclined to prioritize orders for a customer of choice. This status, a HICX survey shows, is also likely to yield lower prices and better service. Winning supplier favor therefore reaches the bottom line. Further, the study suggests that being a customer of choice also brings better levels of compliance. 

So how can businesses fix the data problem and improve supplier favor?  

The first opportunity involves the tools through which businesses manage suppliers: reconfigure this setup to create a golden record. What’s key is to have a central platform. Let it connect all the tools in the setup, vet all incoming entries for quality and govern the data. The idea is to capture and store master data in one place, and let it be accessed by other tools in the digital setup, but not altered. This way, data quality is maintained.

Quality supplier data, thankfully, also improves supplier experience, which leads to the second opportunity: reform the way in which suppliers are perceived. Drive a mindset in which every supplier is considered a valued partner, who contributes towards mutual goals. One application of this mindset is to, while rejigging the digital setup, be mindful of how it could improve the user experience of every supplier. Another is to drive a culture in which suppliers are treated well. Simple actions—such as paying them on time, only sending relevant information requests and being fair—will go far in the journey to becoming a customer of choice.

As major pharmaceutical brands manage rising costs in an ever-changing world, they will benefit from treating the building blocks to resilience holistically. Within the complex pharmaceutical supply chain realm, compliance and general competitiveness can also be addressed. The answer is to focus on two problems as they relate to suppliers: data and experience. Let’s turn them into solutions. The way forward is to fix both digital setups and outdated mindsets. Getting this right will futureproof supply chains and make them truly robust. 


Costas Xyloyiannis is co-founder and CEO of HICX, the leading supplier experience management solution. Costas founded HICX in 2012 to address the challenges of bad supplier data in the enterprise. 

He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Imperial College London and has 20 years’ experience in helping some of the world’s largest companies to take control of their supplier data and deliver a superior supplier experience.

He strongly believes in the importance of data and supplier-centricity, as a foundation for digital transformation in business, and is a regular speaker and contributor on this topic.