Supply chains today are much more complex than they have been in the past. More and more specialized vendors and services are in supply chains in all industries. However, due to new regulations and the phasing in of mandatory track and trace requirements, pharmaceutical supply chain management may be one of the most complex and challenging.
There are several factors that drive the complexity of pharmaceutical supply chain systems. A big issue for all pharmaceutical companies to consider is the increasing globalization of competition. New drugs coming on the markets in other countries are more readily available to all consumers, which poses issues with both competition as well as capturing the market.
There is another factor to consider in this type of supply chain management. The external regulations can be very difficult to predict as well as to manage. This often limits the choices in vendors and suppliers, particularly if they are not geared up for tracking and tracing requirements.
For pharmaceutical companies, a complex issue to consider is future market demand. The challenge is one of being able to quickly scale up or down production as the market demands increase or decrease. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to predict specific demand for a new prescription medication as it depends on physicians, patients, and trends in healthcare.
One important consideration with any effective pharmaceutical supply chain is the ability for all involved to work collaboratively to react to market changes, sudden increases in product demand as well as to new industry regulations.
When all involved stakeholders are able to come together and address these common issues, the supply chain strengthens and becomes more efficient and effective. This is not just good business for the pharmaceutical company; it is a good practice for each link in the chain.
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