Category: Industry News

IQPC INSIGHTS: SUPPLY CHAIN EFFICIENCY AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES

The future of the pharma logistics sector will be characterised by solutions that are software driven rather than hardware driven. In this article, with insights from Amy Shortman, Founder and CEO of ASC Associates Ltd we will explore how the latest technologies will affect the sector, including:

• How new technologies will bridge communication between all parties and stakeholders in the supply chain

• What real time and predictive software systems mean for temperature excursion management

• How IoT and blockchain will shape a touchless, wireless, and secure logistics operation offering an ‘immutable level of traceability’ for products

Please click here for the full report 

ASC will be presenting this year at TCL 2018, we look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supply Chain Efficiencies & New Technologies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January28th-31st2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London,UnitedKingdom

Supply

ChainEfficiency

 

 

And

 

 

 

 

NewTechnologies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ExpertinsightfromAmyShortman

FounderandCEOofASCAssociatesLtd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supply

ChainEfficiency

 

AndNew

Technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AmyShortmanFounderandCEOofASCAssociatesLtd

RetroactiveLogistics:AThingofthePast…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IoTandblockchainwillenable

 

proactiveshipmentmanagement.Nolongerwillpractitionersberestrictedtopost-shipmentforanalysisandexcursionmanagement,increasingthesector’sabilitytomitigaterisktotheproductandthepatient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thefutureofthesectorwillbecharacterisedbysolutionsthataresoftwaredrivenrather

thanhardwaredriven.Thebenefitofthisisthatlogisticsservicesandshipperswillnolongerbetieddowntoasingledevice,orgroupofdevicesthathaverestrictedconnectivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adevice-agnosticsoftwaresystemthat

 

canswitchtothelatesttechnology,whichwillputtheshipperinamuchmoreflexiblepositionintermsoftheirpurchasingability.Itwillalsoensurethatthesectorcanmaintainfluidityand

adapttonewertechnologiesfareasierthanever

 

before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pharma4.0,InternetofThings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formanyyears,thetemperaturecontrolledlogisticssectorsufferedfromtechnologystagnation.Isthisstillthecase?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Clientscannowseewheretheirproductisinreal

time.”

Whatdoesinnovationlooklike?

Justonthehorizonisawidearrayofsoftwaresolutionsthatwillmarkashiftfromretrospectiveinterventiontoreal-time

intervention.

 

 

 

 

 

“Thebenefitofthesenewtechnologiesisthatit’sgoingtobereal-timeandpredictive.Whenexcursionsoccur,oraprocessdoesn’toccurasitshould,youhavetheopportunitytofixtheissueinreal-time,asopposedtoretrospectiveanalysis,”saysShortman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Abigpartofthesenewsolutionsishowthedataspeakstoallinvolvedparties.”Thedatacanbepulledfromdevicesandsenttoindividualsandorganisationswithinthesupplychaintoprevent

incidents.Thiscanbeanythingfromdamagereports,totheft,andtemperatureexcursions.

 

 

 

 

 

“Thesectorisnowatthestagewherewe’rebeginningtomoveawayfromhardwaresolutionsintosoftwaresolutions,”saysShortman.

 

 

 

 

Indeed,thelogisticssectordoesrunarisktopatientsifsoftwareissluggishinadaptingtomeettheindustry’schanges.However,Shortmanhighlightsthatinnovationisaroundthecorner.Therearenowproductscomprisedofindependentsoftwarethatcanconnecttoanydevicetype-andthiskindoftechnologyisavailableacrossthefullrangeoftransportsolutions.

 

 

 

 

Betterstakeholdercollaboration

“Thesectorhascomealongway,”Shortmansays.Whileitstillisn’tperfect,implementinganewtypeofsoftwaretransportationmanagementsystemissignificantlyfasterandmoreefficientthanitwasadecadeago.”Whatisavailableonthemarketnowisalmostlikeplugandplay,withAPIlinkstobringinrelevantdata,thistechnologyishugelybeneficialfromapush-pullpointofview.We’reseeingthatthesesolutionscanbesetupincrediblyquickly,andonceit’supandrunning,it’sallaboutensuringthattheworkflowscorrectly.”

 

 

 

 

Indeed,newtechnologieswillbridgecommunicationbetweenallpartiesandstakeholders.InaTCLscenario,apharmaceuticalcompanycansendatextmessagetoadriver,thedrivercandownloadanapp,andthentakephotographsofthesealofatemperaturereadoutwhilecollectingthe

shipment.Thisinformationcanbeuploadedinrealtimeandcanbesharedwitheveryoneonthesystem,accordingtoShortman.

 

 

 

 

“Ifanairlinewasusingsimilartechnologywecangivethematabletortheycanhaveatabletdevicewheretheycanalsouploadanyrelevantchecklists,againinrealtime,sothatwe’recapturingthataudittrailofwhat’shappening,whenit’shappening,whoit’shappeningby.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January28th-31st2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London,UnitedKingdom

Supply

ChainEfficiency

 

 

And

 

 

 

 

NewTechnologies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ExpertinsightfromAmyShortman

FounderandCEOofASCAssociatesLtd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supply

ChainEfficiency

 

AndNew

Technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AmyShortmanFounderandCEOofASCAssociatesLtd

RetroactiveLogistics:AThingofthePast…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IoTandblockchainwillenable

 

proactiveshipmentmanagement.Nolongerwillpractitionersberestrictedtopost-shipmentforanalysisandexcursionmanagement,increasingthesector’sabilitytomitigaterisktotheproductandthepatient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thefutureofthesectorwillbecharacterisedbysolutionsthataresoftwaredrivenrather

thanhardwaredriven.Thebenefitofthisisthatlogisticsservicesandshipperswillnolongerbetieddowntoasingledevice,orgroupofdevicesthathaverestrictedconnectivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adevice-agnosticsoftwaresystemthat

 

canswitchtothelatesttechnology,whichwillputtheshipperinamuchmoreflexiblepositionintermsoftheirpurchasingability.Itwillalsoensurethatthesectorcanmaintainfluidityand

adapttonewertechnologiesfareasierthanever

 

before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pharma4.0,InternetofThings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formanyyears,thetemperaturecontrolledlogisticssectorsufferedfromtechnologystagnation.Isthisstillthecase?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Clientscannowseewheretheirproductisinreal

time.”

Whatdoesinnovationlooklike?

Justonthehorizonisawidearrayofsoftwaresolutionsthatwillmarkashiftfromretrospectiveinterventiontoreal-time

intervention.

 

 

 

 

 

“Thebenefitofthesenewtechnologiesisthatit’sgoingtobereal-timeandpredictive.Whenexcursionsoccur,oraprocessdoesn’toccurasitshould,youhavetheopportunitytofixtheissueinreal-time,asopposedtoretrospectiveanalysis,”saysShortman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Abigpartofthesenewsolutionsishowthedataspeakstoallinvolvedparties.”Thedatacanbepulledfromdevicesandsenttoindividualsandorganisationswithinthesupplychaintoprevent

incidents.Thiscanbeanythingfromdamagereports,totheft,andtemperatureexcursions.

 

 

 

 

 

“Thesectorisnowatthestagewherewe’rebeginningtomoveawayfromhardwaresolutionsintosoftwaresolutions,”saysShortman.

 

 

 

 

Indeed,thelogisticssectordoesrunarisktopatientsifsoftwareissluggishinadaptingtomeettheindustry’schanges.However,Shortmanhighlightsthatinnovationisaroundthecorner.Therearenowproductscomprisedofindependentsoftwarethatcanconnecttoanydevicetype-andthiskindoftechnologyisavailableacrossthefullrangeoftransportsolutions.

 

 

 

 

Betterstakeholdercollaboration

“Thesectorhascomealongway,”Shortmansays.Whileitstillisn’tperfect,implementinganewtypeofsoftwaretransportationmanagementsystemissignificantlyfasterandmoreefficientthanitwasadecadeago.”Whatisavailableonthemarketnowisalmostlikeplugandplay,withAPIlinkstobringinrelevantdata,thistechnologyishugelybeneficialfromapush-pullpointofview.We’reseeingthatthesesolutionscanbesetupincrediblyquickly,andonceit’supandrunning,it’sallaboutensuringthattheworkflowscorrectly.”

 

 

 

 

Indeed,newtechnologieswillbridgecommunicationbetweenallpartiesandstakeholders.InaTCLscenario,apharmaceuticalcompanycansendatextmessagetoadriver,thedrivercandownloadanapp,andthentakephotographsofthesealofatemperaturereadoutwhilecollectingthe

shipment.Thisinformationcanbeuploadedinrealtimeandcanbesharedwitheveryoneonthesystem,accordingtoShortman.

 

 

 

 

“Ifanairlinewasusingsimilartechnologywecangivethematabletortheycanhaveatabletdevicewheretheycanalsouploadanyrelevantchecklists,againinrealtime,sothatwe’recapturingthataudittrailofwhat’shappening,whenit’shappening,whoit’shappeningby.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

WCA & ASC Associates Form Strategic Partnership

12 Oct, 2018

To enhance WCA Pharma’s commitment to GDP compliance

For Immediate Release

BANGKOK, October 12, 2018 – WCA and ASC Associates Ltd are pleased to announce a strategic partnership designed to enhance WCA’s continuing commitment for compliance and logistical innovation in the Pharmaceutical sector. WCA Pharma selected ASC’s bespoke for its 1-day GDP training course for their Pharma GDP Training held at the World Specialty Logistics Fair in Bangkok, Thailand.

ASC’s suite of training includes Good Distribution Practices for Medicinal Products, which has been designed for the logistics industry to enhance compliance within the supply chain. Working in partnership, ASC will offer their expertise in Good Distribution Practices and Supply Chain security to WCA members.

“We have big plans for a close collaboration across several networks, even looking at creating a WCA Academy in the near future,” said Adam Mckenna, General Manager of WCA Pharma. “It’s clear that there is value in what we’re doing. Each time we host a training session, space is filled weeks in advance and our members achieve impressive high scores.”

Amy Shortman, Chief Executive Officer of ASC stated. “We are delighted to have been selected by WCA to offer our services and suite of training to their members. Over the coming months we hope to expand services and training to include courses such as: Anti-bribery and Corruption, Supply Chain Security, Risk Assessments”

WCA is especially grateful to ASC for helping host such a successful session.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Mckenna. “With 42 participants and a 100 percent success rate, we’re ensuring that our members are ready and able to handle this business above other forwarders who may not have planned in advance.”

About WCA Pharma:
WCA Pharma is a specialty logistics group under WCA, Ltd and is the world’s leading pharmaceutical logistics network of independent forwarders operating to the highest GDP standards. WCA Pharma members have the experience, know-how and expertise to handle pharmaceutical products, from clinical trials, APIs healthcare (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients), plasma, to bio pharma, and controlled drugs.

About ASC:
Established in 2011 in the UK, ASC works globally with all key supply chain stakeholders to achieve excellence with a relentless focus on innovation, security, safety, compliance and efficacy.

For further details, please contact:
WCA: www.wcaworld.com / kmode@wcaworld.com
ASC: www.ascassociates.co.uk / info@ascassociates.co.uk

ASC support partners Virgin Atlantic Cargo in successfully obtaining WDA licence from the MHRA

ASC have been working with Virgin Atlantic Cargo for many years on a variety of different projects. The latest of these projects focused on assisting Virgin Atlantic Cargo to gain their WDA license for the London operations, which would enable them to offer their customers a GDP compliant service. Our work with Virgin Atlantic Cargo began in June 2016, and we are pleased to announce that they gained their WDA license in April 2018.

The support of senior management is critical for the successful outcome of any project, but particularly one that involves quality. ASC were privileged to work with a strong project team, led by Virgin’s Darren Sherlock, and we offer our congratulations to them.

“ASC have been instrumental in our growth into the healthcare market, which was recently punctuated with us achieving our WDA certification in the UK. From the initial gap analysis, developing SOPs, and input developing our quality management system, right through to the delivery of training and getting us ready for our final audit; their knowledge and expertise has ensured that we’ve executed each phase of the project successfully. We plan to continue to work with ASC as we further develop, and I’ve every confidence that with their guidance, Virgin Cargo will go from strength to strength in this area.”
Darren Sherlock – Manager, Products and Partnerships | Virgin Atlantic Cargo

THE BEGINNING OF A NEW JOURNEY – VIRGIN ATLANTIC CARGO SET THEIR SIGHTS ON COMPLIANCE

Gaining a WDA license requires extensive auditing and compliance, which is where ASC were able to offer advice and support. The first stage involved conducting the ‘ASC GDP Health Check’ on Virgin’s cargo operation and that of their Ground Handling Agents at London Heathrow, the Virgin Atlantic Cargo Hub, and Manchester. This was a thorough audit against EU Good Distribution Practice (GDP) Guidelines and Supply Chain Security. Virgin then took the findings and conducted a CAPA plan to close the non-compliances.

We supported Virgin throughout this process using regular project meetings to ensure momentum was maintained. As part of the project, ASC has trained 80 key personnel on our bespoke certified (GDP) training course, which is designed for logisticians by logisticians. Whilst many other GDP courses focus on wholesale activities, we have developed a course that demonstrates how GDP is applicable in pharmaceutical logistics.

Changing an airline environment into a facility that is operating to the same standards as a Wholesaler of Medicinal Products is a challenge. But Virgin Atlantic Cargo were dedicated to achieving these high standards, enabling them to demonstrate their on-going continuous improvements in quality. By mid-April 2018 the Virgin operation was audited by the MHRA and after a successful audit they received their WDA

WHY CERTIFICATION?

Virgin Atlantic are a global airline who were recently voted the 5th best airline in the world.  Virgin Atlantic Cargo is the subsidiary responsible for the cargo and freight operation of the airline. Founded in 1984, it has been providing award winning services to their customers ever since.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo support the Life Science and pharmaceutical industry by offering a range of solutions for time and temperature sensitive products. Internationally accepted GDP guidelines play a key role in assuring transport and distribution of medicinal products for human use does not adversely impact product quality and integrity. The GDP guidelines focus on well-established pharmaceutical working procedures, and continuously improving distribution and handling expertise.

In the UK the MHRA requires companies hold a wholesale dealer license – or wholesale distribution authorisation (WDA) – when providing short-term storage for refrigerated items. In August 2014, the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published the document Short- Term Storage of Ambient and Refrigerated Medicinal Product – Requirements for a WDA, which stated the following:

  • Sites holding ambient products in excess of 36 hours must be licensed
  • Sites where refrigerated products are held, even when this is for less than 36 hours, must be licensed (2)

Having these management systems in place gives the customers the confidence that the company have the controls in place to provide continuity, good quality and service.

THE BENEFITS OF A WDA

The WDA is a recognized global quality standard and plays a critical role in assuring transport and distribution of medicinal products for human use does not adversely impact product quality and integrity.

The license provides proof that the Virgin Atlantic operations are “fit for purpose” at their own and at their partners’ facilities.  It also provides evidence that they are operating within a GDP compliant network.

Their customers can be assured that their shipments will be handled in a fully compliant manner.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

The journey has only just begun for Virgin Atlantic Cargo. Regulations are updated, technology advances, and needs evolve, so remaining compliant will require Virgin Atlantic Cargo to remain up-to-date with the latest regulations. ASC will continue to provide advice and support to help Virgin Atlantic Cargo be the best and remain compliant moving forward.

ABOUT ASC AND OUR SERVICES

ASC is distinctive. In the pharmaceutical and healthcare worlds – where external threats to business and intellectual property are ever-increasing, we go above and beyond – dedicated to improving all aspects of supply chain logistics. Established in 2011 we have supported all the major stakeholders within the supply chain on GDP and Supply Chain Security.

With a relentless focus on innovation, security, safety, compliance and efficacy, we take extraordinary care with attention to detail. We advise. We assess. We train. We plan. We audit. We scope. We inspect. We implement. In person.

We’re there at the beginning of your journey, ever-present throughout, and with you at the end. And all along, we’re an experienced and knowledgeable partner, supporting your business to enable you to deliver on your own promises.

If you would like to have a chat about your requirements give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you. 

ASC speaking at 8th Annual Conference Temperature Controlled Logistics in Frankfurt

ASC’s Tom Cochrane to Chair Day 1 and is giving the Keynote speech.

Tom will be sharing his 37 years of experience within the industry by giving the Keynote speech on ‘An Approach to Global Supply Chain Security in Today’s Pharma Industry’.  Tom will cover the following topics:

  • Identifying the risks in the supply chain
  • Designing and implementing a security management system
  • reviewing some examples
  • Sharing best practice

This event will be held at The Steinburger, Frankfurt am Main, Germany on the 17th & 18th May 2018.

Some other topics covered within this conference will be:

  • Explore applications of block chain, temperature monitoring and more. Embrace the globalization of distribution efficiently and safely
  • Building a safe and effective global distribution network
  • Shipping rout verification and cost optimisation
  • Value of smart packaging
  • Digitization of supply chain

We look forward to participating in this event organised by Fleming,  and hearing updates from the industry by an esteemed list of speakers.

 

HDA’s PCSC welcomes Henry Moran as Advisory Board Member

We are delighted to announce that Henry Moran, our COO has been invited to join the prestigious HDA PCSC’s Advisory Board.

The Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC) offers supply chain security intelligence; access to contacts from industry, government and vendor trade disciplines; physical and supply chain security assessments; a reference library of supply chain security publications, articles and related documents; as well as opportunities to attend educational events. Primarily (but not exclusively) focused on the pharmaceutical industry, PCSC provides useful insights for anyone interested in supply chain security.

In 2017, PCSC became a service offering of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), the national organization representing primary pharmaceutical distributors. HDA members are the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and more than 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Learn more about HDA at www.hda.org.

Pharma Logistics: Up in the Air or in Deep Water?

Last month our CEO, Amy had a chat with James Strachan from The Medicine Maker on the popular topic of modal shift. Amy expressed her thoughts and opinions why both modes are very relevant, however their future success is dependant upon embracing current demands in innovation and compliance. Please click here to read the complete article.

Letzebuerger Journal interview ASC’s CEO, Amy Shortman.

On the 20th January 2018 our CEO, Amy Shortman was interviewed by Cordelia Chanton from Letzebuerger Journal on Amy’s journey into Pharmaceutical Logistics, how ASC provides support and business solutions to the industry, as well as opinions on modes and compliance . Please read the full article ‘in German’ here, Letzebuerger Journal . 

Preview of Autumn Winter Newsletter

Our Autumn/Winter Newsletter

Just before Christmas we sent out a copy of our Autumn/Winter newsletter to all our subscribers. In it we shared updates on what we had been up, as well as industry news that we felt was particularly interesting.

This is something we like to do twice a year, to capture news and updates that might impact our clients throughout the entire supply chain. Our latest edition includes information about the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) move to Amsterdam in light of Brexit, as well as research into the value of Air Freight.

You can download a copy of our Autumn/Winter newsletter here. You can also subscribe to our mailing list, to ensure that you receive a copy of our newsletters as soon as they are published.

ASC Newsletter Spring Summer 2017

Introducing the ASC Newsletter

After several busy months, and following numerous requests from various people, we have decided to launch the ASC Newsletter. Our first copy was published yesterday, and you can get a copy by subscribing to our mailing list.

The Spring/Summer 2017 edition of our newsletter covers the conferences we have attended, the training we have completed with clients, and the journey we took towards launching our new brand.

It also includes a selection of news from within the Pharmaceutical Logistics Industry, as well as security updates which highlight the importance of Supply Chain Security.

ASC Newsletter Industry Updates

We hope that you will find this latest addition to our brand both useful and insightful, and we look forward to bringing you further updates later in the year. In the meantime, don’t forget you can also follow us on both LinkedIn and Twitter where we share regular updates from within the Logistics Industry.

Silica Vaccines Cool Chain

How silica could change the way we ship vaccines

Earlier this week, Bath University announced the results of research into ensilication, a process which involves encasing a protein in silica, which could have far-reaching effects on the transport of vaccines.

The research, which was carried out by teams at both Bath University and Newcastle University, found that vaccines treated in this way could be heated to 100°C or stored at 22°C for at least six months without loss of function.

Currently, vaccines have to be transported using cool-chain logistics, because a small change in temperature can render them useless. Despite advances in both technology and regulation aimed at making cool chain management more reliable, millions of doses are still lost each year.

The researchers trialled ensilication with three different proteins – one from a tetanus vaccine, horse haemoglobin, and an enzyme from egg white, all with great success. It is hoped that this technology could be expanded to other biopharmaceuticals, such as antibodies, anti-virals, and anti-venom drugs.

Such advances in technology are changing the shape of logistics at an increasing rate, and it fascinating to watch how the numerous challenges faced by the healthcare and life-science logistics industry are gradually being reduced. However it is important to remember that the challenges we face are both numerous and varied – temperature regulation is only one part of the puzzle.

Pharmaceutical cargo is often the target of both thieves and those who deal in counterfeit drugs, and so Supply Chain Security must remain a high priority. For instance, in 2009, a truck carrying vaccines in Wisconsin, US, was reportedly left unattended with the engine running at a delivery point. The truck was stolen and later abandoned, with the cargo seemingly untouched, however the vaccines had to be returned to the manufacturer as a precautionary measure.

Technology cannot prevent user error, and so we must always remain aware of best practice at every stage of the supply chain. However it is exciting to see such promising technological advances being made, and we shall be watching for further news on this research to see how it develops.