Indian pharma industry is now facing complex supply chain situations like rising price of fuel and increasing cost together with logistics management challenges.
Urgent investments are required in real-time access of stock movement/temperature data loggers around the country. The country also needs a single point of contact from warehousing to last mile distribution.
J B Chowhan, founder and chairman, Vardhman Health Specialties Group Companies emphasized that Indian pharma sector needs and advanced cold storage for Indian pharma Industry. One of the reasons for a complex supply chain has been presence of too many distributions starting from manufacturing hubs, carrying and forwarding agents, distributors and retails pharmacies which are all around the country.
Medicines are required to be transported to faraway places with poor connectivity and usage of unresistive cooling systems. Opting for transport facilities over 25% of the revenues by pharma manufacturer has been spent on transport only. The problem of poor supply management becomes more severe when the temperature sensitive medications like vaccine and lifesaving drugs face distance restrictions, told by Chowhan.
There is a harsh regulatory guidance by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) to ensure quality and identity of pharmaceutical product during all aspects of the distribution process. These are not limited to procurement, purchasing, storage, distribution, transportation, documentation and record keeping practices. Lack of required infrastructure and traceability impacts growth of cold supply chain structure.
During Covid-19 pandemic, drug supply chain management in india has seen an immense growth, with indispensability of cold storage support for the lifesaving vaccination. Yet investment for inventory at central and multiple regional warehouse network is the need of the hour. There is definitely a requirement for end-to-end batch wise traceability, with temperature monitoring and bar coding. Further, companies in the cold supply chain arena go through hefty agreement protocols with domestic air couriers, giggling and returns etc. There is major deficiency of good distribution practice compliant pharma warehouse. Medicine batch traceability in real time would help to keep not-of-standard quality and spurious drugs at bay, pointed out by Chowhan.
The international pharmaceutical supply chain management is expected to double itself in the coming years. So, it is crucial for cold chain logistics market to look at innovation and investment to research on cold supply chain management in India. Some of these areas would be setting of super specialty, Pharma Warehousing and Distribution, last minute connectivity, digital platforms of Internet of Things, Blockchain, secured data management and annual quality management.
Chowhan said “In addition, other focused areas include 24×7 Patient Service Focused, Easy Payment Methods, Online ordering facility, NPI (Name Patient Import) of research molecules and excellent CRM Customer relation management with 1500+ multi-specialty hospitals across India.”