Challenges in Cold Chain Logistics and Just in Time Packaging

Andrea Charles

Time is probably the most critical factor in the distribution of temp control clinical supplies. Clinical supply professionals have a unique understanding of just how important it is to ensure timely dosage of patients and keep to trial timelines. Dan Holst Jakobsen, Systems Specialist & IT Coordinator and Abhijit Bendre Business Analyst CMC Clinical Supplies from Novo Nordisk, discuss how to reduce risk through packaging and the many operating challenges related to clinical trial supply of temperature sensitive IMPs and materials. They also share their top 3 tips for shortening lead times from lead times from packaging to patient. To listen to the interview in full go to Novo Nordisk: 3 Top Tips for Shortening Lead Times from Packaging to Patient:

Pharma IQ: What are some of the operating challenges related to clinical trial supply of temperature senstitive IMPs and materials?

D Jakobsen: Well you see one of the challenges is detecting temperature deviations when they happen and not when the product actually arrives on site. And also getting full and precise documentation for the temperature deviations is one of our main challenges. Also another challenge is our cooperation with freight forwarder to avoid, for instance, that we have product standing on the tarmac at the airport, being outside refrigeration. So I think those are some of our main operating challenges at the moment.

Pharma IQ: And what would be your top three tips for shortening lead times from packaging to patients?

A Bendre:
We would value our process, define which are the value adding processes, which are non value adding processes and make non value adding processes parallel. That would be one tip. Then degrees, unnecessary buffer times in supply chain, basically different kind of storages or warehouses and so on and try to make the inventory managed process as much as possible instead of pull instead of push. And one more tip could be postponing packaging decisions as much as possible so that we can have more precise information about demand is at hand. And also we can affect the in use time of the product. One more way to reduce lead times could be just in time packaging as well as printing. If possible cooling supplies across trials, for the same kind of products which are used across different trials.
Pharma IQ: And how do you feel pharmaceutical companies are seeking to reduce risk through packaging?

D Jakobsen:
I think that’s very much what Abhijit just said about just in time printing and packaging would be a great way of reducing risk because you have less product in the supply chain. And also a way of reducing risk is cooling supplies because you have product available for more clinical trials. And that would be a way of reducing risk.

Pharma IQ: What would conference attendees gain by taking part in your workshop on clinical trial supply shortening lead times from packaging, order, to patients?

D Jakobsen:
We expect they would be getting inspiration and great ideas listening to a real life example of successfully reducing the lead time in the process. And also have the benefit of having their own challenges discussed with other people from the pharma industry. Maybe also having some discussions about what value do we get from having shorter and especially more reliable lead times in our packaging process. So I think that would be the main drivers for attending this workshop.

Pharma IQ: What are you most looking forward to about Cool Chain Logistics Europe 2012 ?

D Jakobsen & A Bendre: Primarily sharing best practices and expanding our knowledge about current trends in the business. Sharing our experiences as well as learning from others experiences.

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Interview conducted by Andrea Charles.


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