Category: Supply Chain

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

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.

 

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.

Pharmaceutical outsourcing, pharma logistics, logistics

PHARMA OUTSOURCING & PARTNERSHIP 2018 EUROPE

 

On the 26th February our ASC Associate, Tom Cochrane will be presenting on ‘An Approach to Global Supply Chain Security in Today’s Pharma Industry’ at the Pharma Outsourcing & Partnerships 2018 Europe He will be sharing his 35 year industry experience on the following:

●  Identifying the risks in the supply chain

●  Designing and implementing a security management system

●  Reviewing some examples

●  Sharing best practice

The two-day Pharma Outsourcing & Partnership Global Congress 2018 Europe will provide a unique platform for the convergence of stakeholders in the industry to interact, discuss and network with top tier government, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and non-profit organizations as well as regional and local service providers to discuss and share on the outsourcing and partnership strategies, challenges and opportunities, global collaboration and the future of pharma outsourcing and partnership.

Let us know if you are also attending? We hope to see you there.

PMPS Feb 2018 featured image

GDP and WDA in the UK – Our Latest Article in PMPS

Whilst GDP compliance is becoming increasingly recognised within the Pharmaceutical industry, there remains a lot of confusion over exactly what it entails and which parts apply to each section of the supply chain. Which is why we wrote an article for the February edition of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer (PMPS) magazine, exploring GDP compliance in more depth.

Within the article we focus specifically on WDA licenses, including what they are and who might need one. You can read a copy of the full article here, which is taken from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer February 2018, pages 22-25. © Samedan Ltd

PMPS Feb 2018

Outsourcing Supply Chain Security

Outsourcing Article published in PMPS May Edition

Earlier this year we wrote an article on outsourcing for the May edition of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer (PMPS) magazine. This is something that we are very passionate about, as we believe that outsourcing in key areas such as compliance can significantly reduce costs whilst increasing the efficiency and integrity of the entire supply chain.

ASC Outsourcing Article in PMPS magazine May 2017
You can read a copy of the full article here, which is taken from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer May 2017, pages 19 – 23. © Samedan Ltd

diet-pills

Counterfeit Drugs and the Logistics Industry

Earlier this week the BBC reported that diet pills containing the potentially lethal chemical 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) remain available for sale online, despite a major crackdown by the government and regulatory bodies. According to the Food Standards Agency, around 19 websites were shut down last year. However an investigation led by the BBC found multiple sites on the dark web selling products containing the banned drug.

DNP is an industrial chemical licensed for commercial use, but not for human consumption. And the reason for this is clear: DNP has been linked to multiple deaths. An article published by the Journal of Medical Toxicology in 2011 found 62 deaths that could be attributed to DNP since the turn of the twentieth century. Yet despite knowledge of DNP’s potential to cause severe adverse reactions, there have been numerous further fatalities over the past five years.

It is clear that even though DNP is not licensed for medicinal use, diet pills containing it remain attractive to consumers looking to lose weight. Recent casualties have included: a medical student in 2012a bodybuilder (also in 2012); and a 21 year old (2015) who was believed to have known the risk but thought being slim was worth it. This means that even though diet pills containing DNP remain illegal, as long as supply and demand exists counterfeit drugs will continue to be a problem.

Which is why regulation and compliance within the Logistics Industry is so vital. It is crucial that every single person within the Supply Chain understands the importance of working within strict guidelines to ensure the quality and safety of each product. It may be easy to think that the odd slip won’t matter, but the reality is that the products we ship could prove to be fatal if we don’t validate their source and maintain robust procedures throughout the entire Supply Chain.

And this goes beyond management setting up Quality Assurance and SOPs: training needs to be provided for all workers, so that they understand exactly why the procedures they follow have been developed and what their individual role entails. By equipping all staff with the knowledge and skills to do this, we automatically reduce the risk of counterfeit drugs entering the Supply Chain. And when facing an illegal drug such as DNP, it is clear to see just how important this is.

We offer a range of training options to assist you in providing your staff with the skills and knowledge they need. Please contact us for further information, including to find out more about our online training courses (coming soon). 

Counterfeit Drugs

The Importance of Supply Chain Security: Counterfeit Drugs

A large part of what we do at ASC Associates is supporting key stakeholders throughout the supply chain to maximise efficiency and compliance, in order to maintain product integrity and ensure the safety of the consumers. And a major aspect of this is recognising the threat of counterfeit drugs, and developing ways to secure the supply chain against this threat.

The sheer scale of the counterfeit drugs market was demonstrated recently when police in Poland shut down an illegal factory near the city of Bydgoszcz which was capable of producing millions of counterfeit medications. Within the raid, police found 100,000 counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills, alongside 430,000 vials of steroids, worth around $4.4million. However in a statement issued by the Central Bureau of Investigations in Poland (CBSP) it was recorded that the illegal unit was capable of producing much more than this.

The police managed to seize equipment that would create a whole pharma production line, including: mixers, tablet presses, blister packs, and screen printers, making it almost impossible to distinguish the counterfeit drugs from the real ones. A complex supply chain that included shipment to the UK was uncovered within the raid, and it is understood that the majority of these drugs would have been sold over the internet.

It is important to remember that the problem with counterfeit drugs goes beyond the financial implications of illegal reproductions. There are no regulations governing the production of counterfeit drugs, meaning that some may not contain even a trace of the active ingredient. And even when the medications produced do contain the active ingredient, it is often in an insufficient amount, making them ineffective and potentially dangerous as they can contribute to the development of drug-resistant strains of life-threatening diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. People die every single day because of counterfeit drugs, and that is unacceptable.

So what can we do? Well, we need to be proactive in ensuring that we are doing everything we possibly can to ensure the integrity of the supply chain. By reducing the risk of counterfeit drugs entering the supply chain, we reduce the risk to the consumer. This can be done through a combination of a thorough audit of the entire supply chain, robust planning and quality managements systems, and adequate and appropriate training for every member of staff.

We also need to be aware of changes to regulations within the industry, such as the new Delegated Regulation (EU2016/161) published recently by the European Parliament and Council to supplement the Falsified Medicines Directive. This will come into effect by 2019 and aims to introduce two new safety features – a unique identifier that can be scanned at various points along the supply chain, and tamper evident features on the packaging.

Such safety features have already been introduced and trialled, thanks to tech start-ups, and these have shown real promise. However, as this article on the BBC shows, the tech start-ups cannot solve the problem alone – for these safety measures to have any real effect they have to be embraced by us all.

We offer Supply Chain Security Audits and can advise you on the best practices for Logistics and Supply Chain Security. If you would like to know more about our services, please contact us to discuss your requirements. 

Importance of Supply Chain Security

ASC Highlights The Importance of Supply Chain Security in PMPS Magazine

Back in June, Henry Moran, our Chief Operating Officer, wrote about his experience of the FlyPharma Conference. Attending the conference had been a great opportunity for ASC Associates to network with others working in the Pharmaceutical Logistics Industry, and Henry came back full of passion for the work that we do to help manufacturers, third party logistics providers, and airlines to achieve excellence throughout the supply chain.

One of the areas that Henry highlighted in his post was the fact that, whilst there is a great focus on Temperature Management within the supply chain, security is often overlooked. We’re pleased to announce that this observation has been shared in the latest edition of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer Magazine (PMPS), which you can read here. Henry is mentioned on page 50, in the article about the FlyPharma Conference 2016, which you can also see below.

ASC Associates Supply Chain Security PMPS

We’re looking forward to attending the FlyPharma Conference again next year, when it will be held on 6-7th June 2017 in Brussels. Why not head over to their site and register your interest, so that you receive the most up-to-date information straight into your inbox?

And if you’re interested in working with us to review your supply chain security, check out the services we offer or contact us for more information.