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Putting compliance and quality at the heart of pharmaceutical supply chains​

Innovative technology that can improve supply chain visibility, streamline workflows, and ensure compliance sounds like a win-win. Why is it failing to make headway in some corners of the pharma world?

New technology will be heavily scrutinised in any high stakes industry. In pharmaceuticals, where patient safety is the priority, many companies want to ensure potential risks have been thoroughly identified first.

Improving quality in pharmaceutical supply means migrating to new technology designed to optimise processes and reduce waste. But this doesn’t mean that pharmaceutical companies need to set aside risk concerns. Rather, the right collaborative partner can help companies identify and overcome pain points, mitigate risk, and most importantly, ensure quality that will keep patients safe.

Industry 4.0: Optimising logistics, quality, and compliance management

Ensuring the quality, safety, and efficiency of the pharmaceutical supply chain is of paramount importance. In recent years, the industry has seen growing demand for real-time monitoring and visibility via cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain.

While the huge potential of these technologies is undeniable, the value is in the adoption. As Martin Thaysen, Chief Commercial Officer at Controlant, global leader in pharma supply chain visibility, explains: “Emerging technologies continue to advance supply chain visibility, but what we’re seeing more and more is that a deliberate and intense focus on specific business outcomes that pharma supply chain leaders are trying to achieve is vital to realizing the potential of these technologies.”

IoT sensors, such as Controlant’s Saga Loggers, can track the temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that affect drug stability during transportation, while blockchain technology ensures transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain. This reduces risk of counterfeit drugs and ensures product integrity.

Risk mitigation in pharmaceutical supply chains brings with it a wealth of opportunities. Effective risk management and contingency planning are essential to maintain the quality of the supply chain, so companies are developing risk mitigation strategies, diversifying suppliers, and creating backup plans to ensure continuous drug availability.

Pharmaceutical companies are also investing in compliance management systems, automated reporting, and digital documentation. These tools help streamline compliance efforts, reduce errors, and enhance the consistency of processes. Efficient auditing requires close collaboration and communication between pharmaceutical manufacturers, logistics providers, and distributors. Sharing data and insights can help identify weak points in the supply chain, enabling implementation of corrective measures and opening new avenues of productivity.

The pharmaceutical supply chain generates vast amounts of data. Leveraging data analytics and machine learning can help identify patterns, optimise routes, and predict maintenance needs for transportation and storage equipment. Predictive maintenance can prevent unexpected failures, reducing disruptions and safeguarding product quality.

To fully utilise the power of data, firms must react to it in real time, which is why Controlant’s use of IoT technology has been so effective. “There’s an important distinction to be made between visibility and traceability, and between intelligence and decision making, and pharma supply chain leaders cannot tap into the full potential of process automation without high quality, real-time, GXP-validated data – as well as the architecture and data model to support it,” says Thaysen.

Quality management with a validated digital platform

A global pharmaceutical company will need regional experts to obtain all the information needed to assess quality. Any real-time data points need to be evaluated to ensure they are reliable. Regulatory compliance requires that any platform used to store, monitor, or analyse data is fully validated, and that all data is secure for auditing purposes. Furthermore, an unbroken supply chain can only be achieved when the platform enables real-time visibility and end-to-end traceability for all products.

Validated supply chain platforms ensure that pharmaceutical companies are always up-to-date with the latest regulatory standards, streamlining approval processes and offering feedback to update internal quality assurance processes. With an optimised supply chain, pharmaceutical companies can continuously push for improved performance and collaboration.

Controlant are innovators in digital transformation, applying and developing new technologies to give pharma companies real-time decision-making capability based on validated data, and to help them secure the kind of technical and operational flexibility they need to be successful going forward. The company’s Aurora Platform utilises IoT and geofencing to provide automatic delivery and real-time tracking solutions for pharmaceutical logistics, promising to drive value across any pharmaceutical enterprise through digitalisation, visibility, sustainability, and optimisation.

As a driving force for improvement towards a zero-waste pharmaceutical supply chain, Controlant puts quality first, making it an ideal collaborative partner for pharmaceutical companies keen to embrace the benefits of technology. Download the whitepaper on this page to find out more.

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