The total cost of shipping: part 1

The cost of shipping temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals is not only the cost of the packaging plus the freight, but of many other related and often overlooked factors within the overall supply-chain

The temperature-controlled supply-chain has seen much change in recent years. Since the release of the updated EU GDP Guidelines in 2013, manufacturers and wholesalers have had to look at their supply chains and consider whether products that may not have traditionally required temperature-control or monitoring might now need some form of protection, leading to inevitable cost increases.

Meanwhile, many traditional ‘blockbuster’ drugs have come off-patent, opening up the market to manufacturers of cheaper generic products, resulting in a loss of overall market share and profitability.

Alongside these two significant changes to the market structure there is also the fact that new product pipelines are smaller, and that as a result there are fewer new compounds coming on to the market. One by-product has been an upsurge in merger and acquisition activity, with resultant pressure on cost structures.

The net effect is for pharmaceutical companies to seek greater operational efficiencies, and to look to reduce cost throughout the entire product lifecycle, from initial active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacture through to administering the finished product to the patient.

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