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Top Painpoints: Distributing Medicines in Canada

Chanice Henry
Posted: 11/23/2017
Job: Editor
Company: Editorial

To be adequately equipped to distribute medicines throughout Canada, pharma firms must be fully educated on the bespoke pain points this region has to offer.

Canada plays a considerable role in the production and distribution of the world’s medicines. The nation’s pharmaceutical market is primed to grow to $25 bn by 2021, according to consulting firm GlobalData.

With a 2.5% share of the global market, Canada stands as the 10th largest pharma market. It is also one of the leading locations for clinical trials.

However, Canada has unique complications and hurdles, which greatly complicate the task of distributing temperature sensitive medicines within the region. 

CC Canada

This whitepaper provides insight and coping strategies for a range of market access challenges, which include: 

Vast Territories: Cold chains in Canada need to be especially robust due to the region’s vast territories.

Its immense landscape provides challenging driving conditions: long distances, mountain winter conditions in the west and unexpected weather scenarios that can lead to bridges ruined by rain, roads blocked by ice, and many other hazards. All of these have the potential to add major transit delays and costs.

Extreme TemperaturesCanada’s extreme temperatures greatly risk compromising cold chain medicines during transit.

For instance, on the same day in Autumn, temperatures in southern Ontario could rest at around 20 C but in the North of Canada it could be as cold as -10C or even -20 C. A lane travelling through these regions needs to protect the medicine from overheating in the hot climates and from freezing in the old climates. This places a heavy burden on validating quality systems within the chain.

Interested in learning more about this topic?
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Outsourcing and Collaboration:  Canada’s pharma industry is shifting towards an externalized R&D set up through partnerships and collaborations. A similar trend can be seen in the logistics segment of the industry with manufacturers outsourcing distribution efforts with a view to benefit from the expertise of providers. 

By delegating responsibilities externally medicine manufacturers risk losing the end-to-end control they once had. 

Globalization:The past 20 years has seen an increase in globalization in the pharma industry, with more partnerships occurring between developed and developing countries, as well as innovative and generic companies.

This globalization does bring more opportunities for innovation and cost effective routes, however the trend does have its drawbacks.

Import/Export Challenges: Canada has healthy export rates, with over half of its pharma production being exported.

However, almost 80% of the drugs Canadians rely on are imported into Canada. 

Customs Clearance: The customs clearance process is a substantial hurdle when importing or exporting temperature sensitive materials.

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Chanice Henry
Posted: 11/23/2017
Job: Editor
Company: Editorial