Pharma Ship­pers’ Fo­rum pushes for in­for­ma­tion shar­ing

Cargo Talk - - Editorial -

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.

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