Potential supply secrets to be gained from clinical stages

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Recent deep dive research has shown that practitioners don’t, on average, use clinical phases to build commercial forecasting and distribution methods. 

The supply of clinical trials demands a balance of many elements: ensuring medicine is transported safely to sites and within the right temperature, improving enrolment numbers, providing participants with timely medicine access, to name a few.

The intensive nature of this field forces priorities to be fixed on the trials being properly supplied so the product is given the best chance for success.

It is logical then that in Pharma Logistics IQ’s recent research, a vast amount of clinical trial supply practitioners admitted they do not contribute to building the forecasting and distribution methods for commercial stages.

When in clinical phases, how often do you start building the forecasting and distribution methods to be used in the commercial stages?

                                 Clinical trial supply forecasting

Is this the best route?

But, the choice to avoid looking further ahead to the commercial phases could in fact be a lost opportunity.

The clinical phases could be better utilized to prevent a pharma firm from duplicating efforts later down the line.

Bernard Jaucot, Director Strategic Solutions, Global Clinical Supplies (GCS) – PPD notes that clinical stages, especially in Phase 3, can be used as an arena to pilot and trial routes for real world use and, as a result, inform commercial supply strategies. Learnings could uncover new work-arounds to ensure the scaled-up commercial supply chain is smarter and more streamlined.

Silos and rescue teams

Siloed set ups are the likely obstacles blocking the majority of clinical practitioners from seeing the value of contributing to commercial supply chain optimization.

In response to this disconnect, many pharma firms implement a unit that bridges the R&D and commercial perspectives - typically referred to as the tech transfer group.

Senior clinical practitioners will have the visibility to contribute to commercial distribution methods while trials are active. If the value of this visibility was filtered down to other members of clinical teams, additional hidden learnings could be captured.

This could be in the form of distribution efficiencies or cost savings with packaging and labelling.

For more from Bernard on the subject, stay tuned for Pharma Logistics IQ’s report on Clinical Trial Supply – The Quest To Save Time And Money