September 22 - 25, 2020 | Sheraton Boston, MA

Whitepapers & Reports

The State of Temp-Controlled Life Sciences Supply Chains 2019

The State of Temp-Controlled Life Sciences Supply Chains 2019

For over a decade, we at Cold Chain Global Forum have been dedicated to connecting and educating supply chain leaders from across the biopharma world from small, biotech startups to publicly traded Big Pharma manufacturers. In an effort to shed light on where the industry is headed in 2019, we surveyed 150+ life sciences logistics leaders on:

  • Where they are in their end-to-end temperature-controlled supply chain optimization journeys
  • Their biggest challenges and strategic priorities
  • Top areas of interest when it comes to solution providers and vendors 

Below is a summary of what we learned along with expert analysis from our 2019 CCGF advisory board. Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you October 15 - 18 in Boston at the 2019 Cold Chain Global Forum!


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Real-Time Temperature Monitoring for Pharma Cold Chain Logistics: 2019 Whitepaper

Real-Time Temperature Monitoring for Pharma Cold Chain Logistics: 2019 Whitepaper

Featuring an article by Nicholas Basta, the Editor in Chief, Managing Partner and Founder of Pharmaceutical Commerce!


When it comes to safely and securely transporting high-value pharmaceutical products, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Not only is a single consignment of high-value drugs potentially worth upwards of $50 million, but, for those patients in need of these drugs, ensuring these products arrive on time and in optimal condition is quite literally a matter of life and death.

Historically, life science manufacturers have lacked the tools, resources, and technology necessary to gain full visibility into the environmental conditions their products are stored in as they traveled through the cold chain. Because data loggers only provided temperature data once the shipment had arrived at its final destination if a temperature excursion did occur, cold chain leaders could only find out after the fact. In fact, according to a 2014 study by IMS Health, the top 10 pharmaceutical companies lost an average of  $16 billion worth of product (20X the average pharma company’s price-to-earnings ratio) each year due to transportation problems, the resulting temperature excursions and other delays. For the entire pharmaceutical industry, losses exceeded $35 billion (1).

However, recent technological advancements in IoT, data management tools and connectivity have ushered in a new era of real-time temperature monitoring. Due to the emergence of better, faster and more accurate real-time monitoring tools, life sciences manufacturers can now track high-value products in real-time to ensure safe and on-time delivery.

In PART I of this whitepaper, Nick Basta of Pharmaceutical Commerce provides an overview of the evolution of real-time monitoring solutions.

PART II explores the business benefits of real-time, temperature monitoring solutions and best practices for implementations. The ideas, challenges, and solutions covered in the section were pulled from in-depth interviews with our expert speaker faculty.


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Supply Chain 101 Guide

Supply Chain 101 Guide

For those just starting out in temperature controlled supply, it can seem like a daunting task.

With a complex vendor landscape, pressing operational challenges and a multitude of risks factors, it is far from an easy project.

To help, we spoke to Kevin Hickman, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Distribution at Gilead Sciences. With over 26 years of experience in commercial and clinical pharma and biopharma transport management, he shares the cold chain critical success factors you need to know.


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Supply Chain Strategy for Today’s Temperature-Controlled Products

Supply Chain Strategy for Today’s Temperature-Controlled Products

Start early—and stay involved!

By now, the practices and procedures in managing a temperature-controlled supply chain for life sciences products have been well-established: there are international standards to follow; there are various certifications for vendor services; and there are a multitude of vendors, operating in most of the world, experienced in managing these products. That being said, there is also wide variability in what policies a manufacturer will follow, and how the terms of supply chain contracts will be written. To an unusually intense degree, upper management at many life sciences companies look critically at supply chain contracts: the cheaper the better, in this view. So there is yet another dynamic of weighing the cost of service against its quality.

It’s not a bad idea—when time and resources are available—to re-evaluate supply chain strategy for already-commercial products. Technology and vendor services are in a continual state of progress, and the economics of supply chain activities such as transportation modes and warehousing capacities change over time. So, the strategic evaluation isn’t a one-time exercise only when a product is about to be launched.

The following article by Nick Basta, Editor in Chief, Managing Partner and Founder of Pharmaceutical Commerce, lists out the factors that should go into every evaluation of supply chain options. The range of factors will vary widely from a multiproduct, multinational life sciences company, to a startup bringing one or a handful of products to market—and even the ability of the manufacturer to manage its own supply chain, versus outsourcing it to a third-party logistics provider (3PL). If you’ve seen one supply chain strategy, as the saying goes, you’ve seen one supply chain strategy.

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