Sense and response in global pharmaceutical distribution – the opportunity for logistics service providers

E.L. de Jong


The global pharmaceutical supply chain is under tremendous pressure. Quality control in the distribution process to the consumer has always been a top priority for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Increasingly this priority is combined with additional pressures: a growing need for cost control and a globalizing supply chain due to growth in emerging markets. In today’s world, pharmaceutical shippers need to ensure product quality in a complex environment and at lower costs. To address these challenges, logistics service providers can play a critical role by linking all the parties that interact in the pharmaceutical supply chain. In order to take this position, 3PL’s must be able to address the most critical demands from pharmaceutical shippers. This is particularly relevant for the distribution of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products, which is referred to as ‘cold chain’. In 2011, the value of temperature-sensitive shipments will grow to €246 billion, a growth of 27% compared to 2008. And due to the pipeline of temperature-sensitive biotech products, this value will continue to grow rapidly.


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