The Vital Role of Pharma Logistics in Sustaining Global Health

August 31, 2023

The pharmaceutical industry has taken center stage since the onset COVID-19 pandemic. It is always evolving and noted for its constant innovation. The sector demands trusted partners and stakeholders, particularly in the logistics field.

GWC is proud to play a key role in powering Qatar’s pharmaceutical logistics by supporting the nation’s healthcare services.

Ranjeev Menon, Group CEO, GWC, recognizes the imperative for logistics partners to deliver dedicated and industry-specific solutions for the pharmaceutical sector.

“Ensuring access to healthcare and medication has become an urgent priority,” said Menon. “Pharma companies need a logistics partner that offers an end-to-end and global solution, leveraging the latest technology and constantly innovating to keep up with the pace of change.”

Menon continued: “At GWC, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve. We integrate the latest technologies while continually enhancing our core services, including adherence to regulatory compliance, quality assurance and supply chain visibility. We also pride ourselves on developing teams of staff who are highly trained and always go the extra mile.”

Proud to support Qatar’s vaccination drive

 

GWC has taken an active role in transporting lifesaving vaccines, in addition to ensuring specimens are collected, transported under the correct temperature, and labelled properly to ensure patients receive effective care.

In Qatar, GWC played a critical role in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, which was implemented very quickly in order to protect the entire population. In December 2020, Qatar was one of the first countries in the world to begin its vaccination campaign, and, by August 2021, more than 80% of the eligible population had received the recommended two doses, with 93.8% of eligible people receiving one dose.

State-of-the-Art Pharma Hub

Our privately-owned pharmaceutical hub – a 25,000m² facility with temperature-controlled, refrigerated and frozen storage chambers, built and equipped to the latest industry specifications. This facility can store medicines anywhere between -70°C and 25°C across more than 35,000 pallet positions. In addition, GWC’s existing countrywide infrastructure, including vaccine and sample transportation strategies that ensure temperature-controlled transportation, labelling and tagging, helped the company meet Qatar’s ambitious targets.

Supporting Qatar’s ambulance service

GWC also supports the country’s ambulance service through a variety of services, including cleaning and maintenance, moving equipment, replenishing consumables and managing essential emergency supplies in order to allow the health services to provide timely care to patients in their critical moments.

Navigating Regulatory compliance and ensuring quality

The pharmaceutical industry adheres to strict regulatory standards that logistics companies must adhere to. Product integrity, temperature control and traceability are all vital to ensure quality assurance throughout the supply chain. Temperature control is very important due to the sensitivity of many medications to temperature fluctuation. In these circumstances, robust cold chain logistics, storage and transportation methods maintain product efficacy and patient safety

In addition, healthcare companies demand up-to-the-second supply chain visibility and tracking in order to ensure timely delivery, prevent theft, counterfeiting and product loss. GWC utilizes the latest technology in order to enhance supply chain transparency, including the Internet of Things, radio frequency and blockchain platforms. In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to have a major impact on the supply chain in the future, helping to enhance GWC’s services and ensuring customers receive their shipments quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

Effective packaging and labelling are another important areas for pharmaceutical products. Medicines need tamper-proof packaging and clear dosage instructions – and these must be legible to both patients and healthcare professionals. Packaging innovations are a constant part of the picture – and as a key player in the supply chain, GWC must be aware of the very latest technology.

A patient-centric approach to last-mile delivery

The pandemic also highlighted the need for a patient-centric approach in terms of medication delivery. Transport solutions focussed on delivering medication directly to patients’ homes or healthcare facilities were implemented – in many cases for the first time. This has helped the rise of online pharmacies and their impact on changing the landscape of pharmaceutical distribution. Now, customers expect to order medication and have it delivered more quickly than ever before.

Reverse logistics and returns

Reverse logistics strategies are vital for the pharmaceutical industry. Expired, damaged or recalled products must be collected and returned safely and efficiently. Some products also need to be disposed in adherence with environmental regulations. Again, it is vital to be aware of the latest legislation in different territories to ensure the service being offered is the gold standard.

Risk management and contingency planning

Robust risk management and contingency plans must also be developed to handle unforeseen events, such as natural disasters or supply chain disruptions. For example, it is vital to ensure continuous supply during crises. The pandemic made a significant contribution to ensuring the pharma industry is ‘shock proof’. This is a vital development that will help keep the global population safe and healthy well into the future.

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