How Pharma Companies Manage Commercial Supply Chains

How Pharma Companies Manage Commercial Supply Chains

The pharmaceutical supply chain is a complex network of processes that must work together to ensure patients receive vital medicines promptly and safely. Supply chains can be challenging, but managing them well is the key to successful pharmaceutical business. 

This blog post explores how companies in the pharmaceutical industry manage commercial supply chains and what challenges might need to be overcome.

Commercial Supply Chains in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Competition is fierce in the pharmaceutical industry, and regulations are extremely strict. Pharmaceutical supply chains are subsequently tied to both compliance and profitability, two often competing business metrics that depend on traceability when it comes to supply chain management.

Additionally, there are many stakeholders and potential challenges that must be considered. The stakeholders include manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, pharmacies and patients. Managing them effectively can be carried out through traceability systems, supply chain managers or a combination of both.

There are five main stages of a typical pharmaceutical supply chain:

  1. Pharmaceutical products are produced at the manufacturing site to meet the market demand and orders placed.
  2. Products are transported to distributors. The manufacturers manage this process to ensure they are delivered to the distributors, but sometimes they are delivered directly to the pharmacies.
  3. Products are delivered to pharmacies (which include hospitals, web-based companies, retail pharmacies, and more). The products are delivered by the manufacturers or by wholesale distributors.
  4. Pharmacies process the products through pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and their systems. PBMs now play a key role in consumer drug purchases, despite not being a direct part of the supply chain. Their role is to manage purchases by defining how much money will be paid by each party.
  5. Pharmaceutical products are dispensed, which means they are given to the patients. The pharmacies are the last link in the chain before the drugs reach the customers or patients. They provide key information to all stakeholders in the chain and are responsible for ensuring customers know how to safely and appropriately use the drugs they are taking.

Commercial Supply Chain Management with DSI

Being able to provide a continuous supply of goods to your customers and the market is vital for maintaining a reputable business and in order to do so, organizations need to be able to manage their clinical and commercial supply chain operations. DSI can provide support with supply chain management as well as overall strategies and implementation to make sure your business is running smoothly and any hiccups are addressed.

Our list of services includes the following: 

  • CMO and CPO selection and management
  • Contingency strategies
  • Cost of goods evaluation
  • End-to-end supply chain assessment
  • Forecasting
  • Inventory strategies
  • Supply chain optimization

DSI can offer a wide variety of services to help support, manage and improve your business. Our team of expert consultants have decades of experience across every stage of the product development process and they also cover regulatory and technical project management consulting services. Ready to start your journey with DSI? Get in touch with us today.