The topic of supply chain integrity and security is relatively new in Pharma, having gained prominence in recent years for the reasons described above. Breach of security related to criminal activity is where the issues are most visible and enforcement activity is actively taking place around the globe. In parallel, if we are looking for sustainable, root cause solutions, we must also turn our attention to supply chain integrity and deal with both security and integrity concurrently.
An Oxford on-line dictionary definition of integrity is “the state of being whole and undivided”. Over the last 40 years, the Pharma supply chain has fragmented to the point where it is a million miles from that state. There are now multiple business models, such as virtual, biotech, specialty Pharma, innovator, generics, biosimilars, etc and a divergence of supporting actors, such a contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), contract research organizations (CROs), central laboratories, third party logistics providers, pre-wholesalers, wholesalers, specialty pharmaceutical providers (SPPs) etc. As a result, our supply chains have dis-integrated to the point where visibility and accountability have become blurred at the edges – and it is this disintegration that has opened the doors to criminal activity and errors in quality outcomes.
The solution is not an easy one. It requires urgent action to mitigate activities of the ‘bad guys’, together with a longer term approach to ensure the ‘good guys’ get better at building and managing robust supply chains. This can only be achieved by collaboration between regulators, other enforcement agencies, technology providers and the industry itself. Where do we start?
We must initially focus on the end-to-end supply chain in its current state. Chains of custody and ownership must be clearly identified and remediation actions agreed by responsible parties to plug the gaps that currently exist. For example, Quality and technical agreements must become far more ‘process’ orientated so that they become working documents shared between business partners, rather than merely a static list of tick boxes. Change control has to work on upstream and downstream impacts that might affect supply chain integrity and procurement must forge supply agreements that impose obligations for supply chain visibility on prospective partners. This and much more needs to happen and will be discussed in the session.
Then we must turn attention to the building of supply chains for the future – the product development phase. This industry is unique in that the entire supply chain must be registered with competent authorities before approval to sell and post-launch changes have to be approved. This places a great responsibility on getting it right from the start. This is where the opportunity lay for sustainable improvements in the physical architecture of the supply chain and the underpinning management processes and information flows. A foundation for this has already been put in place by the regulators through FDA’s 21st Century Modernization initiative and ICH Q8 – 11 guidelines. The key to translating these initiatives into meaningful supply chain improvements, however, it in understanding the patient value proposition and the organizational/cultural elements that must firstly be in place, and these are explored in some depth.
Why should you attend: The Pharmaceutical supply chain has never been in such turmoil and under such attack from governments and regulators globally. The evidence is stark and mounting. Supply chain shortages in the US have moved even the President to demand urgent remediation; high level congressional committees have also asked searching questions of FDA and other involved stakeholders, in an attempt to discover what has been going on with high profile supply chain failures. Cargo theft, diversion and counterfeiting have become almost endemic, with detection and enforcement efforts stretched to the limit. Finally, and possibly most worrying of all, are the cases where materials have been adulterated or substituted with toxic alternatives (for economic gain) and have progressed undetected through one or more stages in the supply chain causing eventual patient death.
Areas Covered in the Session:
- How to organize for supply chain integrity throughout the product life cycle
- Current approaches to clamping down on criminal activity in the supply chain
- Issues causing greatest concern to regulators and how to address them
- Role of ICH Q8 – 11 in building robust supply chains
- How the disciplines of procurement and supply chain management (SCM) can be leveraged
- Role of technology as an enabler
Who Will Benefit:
- Research chemistry and biochemistry
- Chemical and biochemical engineering
- Chemistry, manufacturing, and controls
- Preclinical Development
- Clinical Development
- Regulatory Affairs
- Quality Assurance
Hedley Rees is a practicing consultant, coach and trainer, helping healthcare companies build, manage and continuously improve their clinical trial and commercial supply chains and risk profiles. He has his own company, Biotech PharmaFlow Ltd, based in the UK and handles assignments across the spectrum from top ten Pharma’s through to highly virtual early stage start ups. Prior to this, Hedley held senior supply chain positions at Bayer, British Biotech, Vernalis, Johnson & Johnson and OSI Pharmaceuticals. His skill set covers the range of supply chain management processes from strategic procurement, production and inventory control, distribution logistics, information systems and improvement. His specific interest is in driving industry improvements through the regulatory modernization frameworks of FDAs 21st Century Modernization and ICH Q8 – Q10.
Hedley holds an Executive MBA from Cranfield University School of Management and is a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS). He is a member of the UK BioIndustry Association’s (BIA) Manufacturing Advisory Committee and also regularly speaks at international conferences, being co-chair of the 2011 FDA/Xavier University sponsored Global Outsourcing Conference in Cincinnati, October 2 -5. He has published in US and EU pharmaceutical journals and is author of “Supply Chain Management in the Drug Industry: Delivering Patient Value for Pharmaceuticals and Biologics” published by J. Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.
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