PHARMA SUPPLY CHAIN COMMUNITY MUST COLLABORATE AND WORK WITH REGULATORS TO SET GLOBAL STANDARDS
Logistics providers must work closely with regulators to ensure the rapidly expandingpharma supply chain runs smoothly and securely, delegates at the Cool Chain Association(CCA)’s Pharma and Biosciences Conference 2016 heard earlier this week
Dubai, UAE, Friday, 23rd September 2016 - The cool chain community must work closelywith regulators to ensure the global pharma market, estimated to be worth USD1.1 trillion a yearglobally, benefits from harmonised regulations, delegates at the Cool Chain Association (CCA)’sPharma and Biosciences Conference 2016 heard in Dubai this week.
A more unified approach is needed by pharma supply chain providers to address the evolvingneeds of the cool chain shipper and help to combat annual losses of up to USD35 billionresulting from wasted pharmaceutical product temperature excursions.
“Temperature controlled logistics is expected to grow by nine percent every year, leading to aglobal cool chain industry worth around USD16.7 billion by 2020,” said Sebastiaan Scholte,Chairman, CCA.
“However, the patchwork of regulations around the world, as well as the huge amount of databeing collected as we process pharma goods, means we have to navigate a highly complexsystem.
“Open dialogue between industry and regulators is vital to ensure every voice in the cool chainis heard to help us achieve a slicker, more transparent supply chain that meets the evolvingneeds of the pharmaceutical marketplace.”
Delegates at the two-day CCA event, which brought together over 140 experts from all sectorsof the global pharma supply chain, heard that the industry had seen significant changes overthe last decade.
A wave of new regulations has spurred the launch of initiatives such as the International AirTransport Association's (IATA)’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators inPharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) accreditation scheme, and focused the attention ofairports on building specialised pharma zones.
Therese Puetz, Chief Executive Officer, Karavan Management Consulting, told the conferencethe cool chain “toolbox” had also seen great advancements, such as unit load devices (ULD)swith rechargeable batteries, improved covers for protecting temperature-sensitive cargo, andreal-time global tracking, as well as the use of nearfield communications (NFC) to better monitorand 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.
“It is about making use of this enriched tool box, which has really grown over the years, drivenby regulations and competition,” said Puetz.
But better communication is needed with the shipper, including ensuring a clearerunderstanding 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 globalharmony, Bert Allard Jorritsma, Manager Special Cargo & Services Delivery, Emirates SkyCargo,told delegates.
“Good pharma logistics is more than just specialist handling equipment and warehousing – weas an industry need to align,” he said.
“We have so many handover points for the GDP, for example, and a large amount of complexdata created from these handovers, but we have no clear solution as to how this data is able tohelp us and help the customer get what they need.”
Scholte added that industry must work closely with regulators to ensure that any new legislationdoes not elongate the time-critical cool chain process.
“The CCA could work together with The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) to holdclosed door sessions with regulators to address supply chain issues,” he said.
“One solution they could consider is the creation of a database that includes a quality trademarkthat rates all air cargo services at airports, to help shippers gain full visibility.”
Delegates at the CCA event were also invited by Emirates SkyCargo to a tour of their newSkyPharma cool storage facility at Dubai International Airport, which opened for business thisweek.
The 11,000-sqm facility is run in conjunction with Emirates SkyCentral Dubai World Central(DWC), the carrier’s freighter hub in DWC, which offers 4,600 sqm of area dedicated forpharmaceutical cargo.
“The CCA holds at least two events each year and is the perfect opportunity for all segments ofthe cool chain industry to come together and debate the issues that matter,” said EdwinKalischnig, Secretary General, CCA.
“With so many new regulations coming into force, as well as advancements in technology andchanging market demands, we are living in a period of great change and it is more importantnow than ever before that all voices of the cool chain community are heard.
"Parties should embrace and introduce technology to create real transparency. Shippers shouldbe more active in supporting companies that make the right choices and do the rightinvestment. That is the only way to show that these investments pay off, which is not cleartoday.”
The next CCA event is the CCA AGM Perishables Event in Athens (GR) in June 2017 (dates t.b.c.)
Posted on September 24, 2016
by Edwin Kalischnig