Supply chain management (SCM) entails the successful administration of supply chain operations designed to increase profits and provide a better customer experience. The process also ensures that products are manufactured as planned and become available in hospitals, pharmacies, and other health services on time. According to Inkwood Research, the global pharmaceutical supply chain management market is projected to progress with a CAGR of 8.84% between 2023 to 2032, capturing a revenue share of $5289.53 by 2032.
The success of a manufacturing organization depends greatly on the efficacy of the supply chain as a whole. If a certain link in the chain is disrupted or weak, it could jeopardize the entire chain. Supply chain management, in this regard, is essential to help organizations remain agile, while handling unexpected issues or variability that may occur. By streamlining supply chain processes and increasing visibility, pharmaceutical businesses can diagnose problems and find suitable solutions more swiftly. According to Inkwood Research, the solution segment is set to grow with a CAGR of 8.67% between 2023 to 2032.
An effective and streamlined pharmaceutical supply chain includes the implementation of various strategies as well as technologies in order to provide customers with unique added value.
Aligning with this, this blog explores how leading companies are focusing on the development of advanced technologies to enhance pharmaceutical supply chains globally –
- Infor Cloverleaf® Integration Suite – The Infor Cloverleaf® Integration Suite streamlines clinical data exchange to enhance business operations and medical outcomes. Utilized by more than 1/3 of hospitals in the United States and deployed in 36 nations, the software enables healthcare organizations to securely resolve complex interoperability difficulties. It does so at a scale using the latest, state-of-the-art standards, including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7® FHIR®).
- Tecsys’ Elite™ Pharmacy Inventory Management System (PIMS) – In August 2021, Tecsys Inc (Canada), a leading supply chain management software company, announced its collaboration with Indiana-based Parkview Health to fortify its pharmacy operations with Elite™ Pharmacy Inventory Management System (PIMS). Through this implementation, Parkview Health will be able to source the best drug pricing advantages while ensuring regulatory compliance, auto-generate replenishment orders, and managing vendor and purchasing invoice matching via EDI data exchange.
- Vizient Supply Chain Operations Services – In 2021, Vizient (United States) announced the launch of its set of solutions aimed at improving healthcare supply chain resiliency through greater predictability and transparency across trading partners. These solutions will provide risk management services for a provider’s critical supply list and improved visibility into supplier distribution as well as manufacturing sites.
- McKesson’s Healthcare Distribution Center – In October 2022, McKesson Corporation (United States) established a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical distribution center in Jeffersonville, Ohio. The new facility is set to distribute over-the-counter (OTC), pharmaceutical, and home healthcare products, in addition to consumer-packaged goods (CPG), to customers across Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Strategically located to cater to customers across the region, the distribution center is equipped with automated putaway, replenishment, and order-filling processes. Moreover, it also entails a robotic palletizer and tote washer for handling significant volume growth over time.
- SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences – Operating on the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and leveraging SAP Blockchain Business Services, SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences is the first public-cloud, industry-specific business network utilized by over 45 pharmaceutical firms. Moreover, it is also implemented across 1,500 trading partners as well as 80% of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers.
- TotalVue™ Analytics – OptiFreight® Logistics, a Cardinal Health (United States) company, announced the launch of TotalVue™ Analytics in January 2021. The tool primarily caters to healthcare supply chain leaders, enabling them to use predictive technology as well as data in order to detect logistics savings and benchmarking. TotalVue™ Analytics also provides health systems with visibility into shipping trends. Subsequently, this helps in identifying opportunities to reduce freight costs, including outbound shipments from sites and inbound shipments from suppliers. The company’s technology platform allows customers to track shipments in real-time and optimize their transportation expenditures, as well.
Additionally, in order to mitigate future risks and minimize dependence on foreign suppliers, various pharmaceutical companies are also diversifying their supply chains and establishing local production facilities with the latest technologies.
Improving Patient Safety: AI’s Role in Optimizing Pharmaceutical Supply Chains
The novel coronavirus pandemic has expedited the adoption of digital solutions such as blockchain, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, as well as artificial intelligence in supply chain management. Artificial intelligence is a remarkable example of a disruptive, cutting-edge technology incorporated into supply chain management systems, subsequently contributing to the healthcare industry’s rapid expansion, improved efficiency, and increased patient safety.
When integrated with predictive analytics and machine learning, the artificial intelligence (AI) transformation in supply chain management delves deeper than smarter functions – in essence, it holds the potential to address some of the greatest challenges in pharmaceutical supply chain management. For example, an AI-based pharmaceutical supply chain can help validate product legitimacy, authenticate medical devices, and track counterfeit products, thus contributing to effective patient care.
As per the article, ‘Role of Artificial Intelligence in Patient Safety Outcomes,’ AI-enabled decision support systems, when correctly implemented, can help facilitate patient safety by improving error detection, drug management, and patient stratification. These factors, in turn, are set to play a pivotal role in strengthening the global pharmaceutical supply chain management market growth during the forecasting years.
What are cold supply chain pharmaceutical products?
Cold chain pharmaceutical products are characterized as goods that must be stored at a certain temperature in order to maintain optimum safety and quality. These products include vaccines, gene therapies, biologics, and components of cells.
What are some of the key challenges addressed by pharmaceutical supply chain management?
Drug counterfeiting, compliance-related issues, risk of OTIF (a measurement of logistics or delivery performance within a supply chain) failures, and problems in the collection and analysis of large volumes of data are some of the key challenges addressed by pharmaceutical supply chain management.