The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is hugely complex because it involves so many markets, products, processes and intermediaries. It is also heavily regulated, global, and used by everyone at some stage in their life. No wonder the supply chain for delivery of healthcare services is often fragmented and understood only in discrete sections. Changes in one area impact upon the others, and environmental factors such as pricing, regulatory change or actions by competitors impact the whole supply chain in ways that are not easily understood or managed. Accelerating technology, the commoditization of healthcare, increasing demands from ageing populations all influence the approach that suppliers of pharmaceutical products and services worldwide need to take if they are to design and manage an effective supply chain that will be capable of: exploiting their intellectual property in a sustainable way; providing safe and continuous provision of drugs or devices; and sustaining with resilience, yet still be flexible and cost efficient. Supply Chain in the Pharmaceutical Industry offers the basis for organizations to develop their own blueprint for managing the opportunities and threats to the pharmaceutical supply chain. Using examples from companies and markets across the world Rob Whewell offers a very vivid picture of the developing trends for pharmaceutical companies; the customers and markets they serve and points to some of the elements that underpin sustainable pharmaceutical strategies. The current global banking and financial crisis illustrates the important role played by regulation. The healthcare industry is similar in scope, and complexity, yet the implications of error are worse - life threatening. This review of key industry parameters will provide senior executives in the industry and policy makers in healthcare with a broad perspective of the issues and illustrates an understanding of the task at hand.
Rob Whewell was a founder member and Vice President of Aegate Ltd., a venture company established by PA Consulting Group to provide the industry with a mechanism to ensure safe dispensing of medicines to patients by pharmacists. Before joining PA Consulting Life Sciences division he built up his experience in pharmaceutical supply chain issues at Wellcome, Glaxo and Zeneca working in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, USA and Middle East Markets. Rob lectured widely on the subject on the global conference circuit.