Jim Miller, contributing editor to Pharmaceutical Technology and president of PharmSource Information Services, discusses current and future trends in pharmaceutical outsourcing with Michael J. Kosko, president of Pfizer CentreSource. The discussion focuses specifically on chemistry, manufacturing, and controls services.
Miller» How would you characterize the state of the vendor base for chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) development and manufacturing services? Do CMC service providers have the requisite technical and operation skills to meet your needs?
Kosko» Speaking to the contract manufacturing services sector, Pfizer is in an interesting position. Pfizer Global Contract Manufacturing manages a broad range of service provider relationships, companies from which we source active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and drug product. The part of the business I manage, Pfizer CentreSource (PCS), actually provides fine chemicals and contract manufacturing services to other pharmaceutical companies. We continually draw on our position as part of Pfizer to help guide us in meeting the technical and operational needs of PCS' customers; so many of them face similar challenges to those faced by Pfizer's pharmaceutical sourcing efforts.Miller» Do CMC service providers have the global capabilities to address your growing geographic scope?
Kosko» Geographic scope is an important consideration for many companies that outsource today. At PCS, we have located our own business development colleagues for convenient geographic access by PCS global customers. We also draw on the manufacturing operations of Pfizer's plant network, around the world, to site production in regions convenient to our customers.
Miller» Are you confident that the major service providers have the financial staying power to be long-term partners?
Kosko» Being on the service provider side of the table, PCS is in a strong position given current economic conditions. Our role as a part of Pfizer Global Manufacturing means we have access to the financial strength of Pfizer and the benefit of reaping the rewards of ongoing investment in capabilities and talent that affiliation with a large pharmaceutical business can provide.
Miller» Do you see a group of preferred providers emerging?
Kosko» I can envision a consolidation within various segments of the contract manufacturing market over the next three to five years. Having a strong technical knowledge base, well-developed quality systems, top-notch facilities and customer focus will separate the winners from the losers.
Miller» During the next five years, what would you identify as the greatest challenges facing pharmaceutical manufacturers in managing an increasingly global supply chain? What role do you see for CMOs and other contract service providers (e.g., third party logistics providers) in helping to manage that supply chain?
Kosko» Companies who outsource today are definitely concerned about managing risk. The potential downside is simply too great not to. As supply chains become more complex, we see PCS customers increasingly relying on us to understand and address their concerns in keeping the supply chain both effective and secure. Fortunately, our role within Pfizer puts us in a situation where quality and EHS capabilities are among our biggest strengths. This is one area where we can add real value to customers seeking improved supply chain control and security.
For more on this topic, see "The Future of Pharmaceutical CMC Outsourcing"