Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 21

F E AT U R E

improvements in the pharma supply chain

Figure 1: The evolution of supply chain networks
Track and trace means that you need to know at a granular
level exactly where the product is and the condition it's in at
every stage in the supply chain. It's important to remember
that track and trace is not just about product information.
It's also about supply chain information such as where it
currently is, where it's going and when it's likely to get there.
Ideally, this is best served by transparency between supply
chain partners and visibility - for both the manufacturer and
for government - across the entire supply chain.
Supply chain visibility is not something that the
pharmaceutical industry has been traditionally good at, but
it is now a necessary component of whatever track and trace
solution that a company implements to comply with global
regulations. It is also the basis for improving supply chain
operations is areas such as sales and demand forecasting,
inventory management, supplier performance management
and business continuity.
This drive for supply chain visibility is implicit in, at
least, the US DSCSA legislation. Commenting recently on
how the legislation enhances drug distribution security,

the FDA's Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb said: "We want to
create a system that flags illegitimate drugs in the supply
chain...A fully digitized supply chain can also help develop
predictive analytics to reduce healthcare fraud, waste and
abuse. It can allow regulated industry and regulators to
more easily manage and avoid the costly or dangerous
supply disruptions." [2]
Achieving Gottlieb's goals requires the application
of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and
analytics. Stephen Meyer, research director, life sciences at
Gartner Group recently told Supply Chain Dive that, for
Pharmaceutical supply chain managers, "visibility is hands
down the biggest challenge and the one most likely to be
solved with technology." For Meyer, technologies such as
AI and blockchain can help automate, sort and analyze the
data needed to deliver visibility and improve supply chain
security. [3]

Data first. A fundamental change in thinking

Of course, track and trace is hardly a new concept.
Pharmaceutical companies have been tracking product
through their supply chains for years but this is often

06.2018 / Visit our website at www.PharmaceuticalCommerce.com / 21


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018

Table of Contents
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover1
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover2
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Table of Contents
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 4
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - 5
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Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover3
Pharmaceutical Commerce - June 2018 - Cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20120506
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20120304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20120102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20111112
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pharmcomm/20091112
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com