Pharma’s Ongoing Supply-Chain Woes

February 2, 2015
Adeline Siew, PhD

Adeline Siew is editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Europe. She is also science editor for Pharmaceutical Technology.

The pharmaceutical supply chain continues to be a challenge for the industry despite advances in QbD and PAT.

While new technologies, such as continuous manufacturing, quality by design (QbD), and process analytical technology (PAT), continue to expand within the pharmaceutical industry, the supply chain will remain an ongoing challenge, commented Chris Kilbee, group director pharma at UBM, in a press release on 2015 pharma trends by CPhI Worldwide’s panel of experts. 

The report highlighted that the pharmaceutical supply chain does not have a positive outlook. According to Hendrik Baumann, CEO of Arevipharma GmbH, marginal pressures caused by a greater profit-driven approach to sourcing and reduced stockpiling by pharmaceutical producers and wholesalers will have a major effect on Western drug markets. Baumann warned that there is a danger that this will result in drug shortages for popular treatments.

Outsourcing is set to increase, especially with India and China emerging as manufacturing forces. Prabir Basu, consultant at Pharma Manufacturing, stated that this trend brings along its related quality issues, which are not likely to reduce in the near future.

Hedley Rees, managing consultant at PharmaFlow, was in the opinion that Big Pharma may start to repatriate some of the drug development value chain activities to regain control over quality, lead times, and costs. “Could a Big Pharma buy a CMO?” was the question posed by Rees. Rees also projected that there will be a strain on the industry as drug developers come under pressure to meet increasing GMP/GDP demands as well as exceed expectations of potential pharma partners with respect to the robustness of their CMC packages.

Source: CPhI Worldwide