Pharma Shippers’ Forum pushes for information sharing
The Pharma Shippers’ Forum, which was recently organised by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Mumbai witnessed 40 leading pharma shippers, together with representatives of logistics service providers, cargo handlers, airports, airlines and regulators.
The forum unveiled many of the problems and concerns facing India’s multi-billion dollar pharma industry as it steps up its export drive. Speaking at the forum, Ryan Viegas, VP Supply Chain & Procurement, Watson Pharma, pharmaceutical is India’s third biggest industry, employing 350,000 people in 10,000 companies. He added that India has the largest number of FDA-approved sites outside the USA, and that the sector is growing at 20 per cent per annum. The event that followed the popular ‘Schiphol Format’ and was moderated by Enno Osinga, Sr VP, Schiphol Cargo.
The Pharma Shippers’ Forum discussed many challenges including danger of temperature excursions rendering medicines ineffective; the need to secure supply chains from counterfeit products; the lack of transparent pricing from forwarders; and the often extreme difference between climates at origin and destination.
At this event, one airline representative spoke of the challenges faced by the airlines themselves, in selecting handling partners with the resources and correct procedures to handle temperature-controlled shipments. “There is no one standard. All the forwarders, shippers, airlines and handlers are busy designing their own, and they can be conflicting. The only way out of this impasse is for everyone to cooperate and seek a single solution that is uniform throughout the supply chain.”
According to pharma handlers, the industry needs a running document from the origin up to the destination to control the process. It is important because if something goes wrong, the handlers can see where it went wrong.