Examining the Nordic Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Andrea Charles

Lessons learnt ahead of the Nordic Pharmaceutical Supply Conference

Pharma IQ is delighted to announce that this year's event will be held in Copenhagen on the 17th-19th June 2013.

Last years' conference addressed effective optimisation in supply chain and distribution. This two-day event was a great opportunity to meet and get updates from all the stakeholders in the life science supply form manufacturers like AstraZeneca, pharmacists from the PGEU to representatives from important bodies such as EFPIA, GIRP and GS1.

There were over 15 presentations as well as interactive panel discussions, informal speed networking and a supplier exhibition. The majority of participants were from the pharmaceutical community who were looking to discuss and tackle current distribution, supply chain and logistics challenges and the sessions covered a range of key topics from speed of delivery to patient safety.


Improving efficiencies and cost control

Due to the current economic outlook, there is currently increasing internal pressure within the pharmaceutical industry to cut costs and improve efficiencies in the supply and distribution chains. This need for optimisation and efficiency was reflected in the first half of Day One. The keynote presentation was delivered by Lars Bang, Senior Vice President, Supply and Operations at Lundbeck and looked at putting operational excellence at the top of he agenda, how cultural transformation resulted in a significant reduction in supply chain costs at Lundbeck and why pharmaceutical manufacturing also has a future in high cost countries.

GDP and minimising risk

The second part of Day Two looked minimising risk in the supply chain, planning and adhering to Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines and included a talk from Riekert Bruinik, Group Chairman of the PIC/S GDP Working Group, Member of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) GDP Drafting Group, Dutch Health Care Inspectorate. Leveraging GDP can be a challenge and Bruinink looked ahead to next year’s revisions to GDP guidelines, with a special focus on quality management issues, procurement and storage, EU specific legislation and operations and transport.

The day ended with a chance of the participants to explore what Copenhagen had to office and a bus was provider by the conference organisers.

Controlled temperature logistics and change control

Day Two focused on controlled temperature logistics and maintaining supply chain integrity. The conference day opened with a great talk from the chairman Chris Wallace, Distribution Director, European Commercial Supply Chain, who discussed the challenges of integrating two supply temperature controlled supply chains with different products and priorities and also shared his experiences of reengineering the European supply chain. Wallace also reflected on the balancing act pharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders must find between continuous improvement, change management and reengineering versus business as usual, service delivery and compliance.

As the internal and external pressures on the pharmaceutical supply chain increase and alter, Supply Chain’s role will not only focus on coordination of the product to ensure gets from manufacturing to the customer, but also managing change control.

To find out more about this year's Nordic Pharmaceutical Supply Chain go to www.nordicsupplychain.com.

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Written by Andrea Charles