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Why smarter cold chains are needed to improve global health standards

A new generation of cold chains needs to be developed for the life sciences and health care industry, according to a new report by DHL Global Forwarding...

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|Jul 10|magazine9 min read

A new generation of cold chains needs to be developed for the life sciences and health care industry, according to a new report by DHL Global Forwarding.

Product integrity and security throughout the supply chain remains to be the highest priority for health care manufacturers, but stricter regulations, extended geographic coverage and intense cost pressure are now raising the stakes.

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Pharmaceuticals are expensive and sensitive, and product integrity is paramount as ultimately someone’s health and even life may depend upon it.

With global demand, particularly in emerging markets, growing hand in hand with even stricter compliance from regulators, the industry faces a critical situation unless a new generation of cold chains are developed that can support growth aspirations and at the same time safeguard products.

 “Astounding developments in the life sciences industry coupled with globalization means there is an opportunity for better health, pain relief and cure from disease for many millions of people around the world,” said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group. “But getting the medication to patients in the right condition and achieving that goal requires a complex balancing of cost and risk. It emphasizes yet again the strong link between trade, logistics and the impact it has on improving people´s lives.”

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According to our sister brand Supply Chain Digital, global spending on health care is forecasted to reach around $1.3 trillion by 2018 and the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2020 one third of all global health expenditure will be in emerging markets.

Specialty drugs and biologics are one of the fastest growth areas, with U.S. spending on specialty drugs to quadruple to $401.7 billion in 5 years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, with similar growth rates being projected for the rest of the world.

“Collapsed cold chains due to non-appropriate conditions can result in loss of a shipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Over the longer term, this can lead to a damaged reputation, slumping sales, potential share value and even pose a risk to patients. These are high stakes and a smarter supply chain is necessary to overcome these challenges.

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“As the life sciences and health care industry expands and transforms to meet the growing needs of the world, logistics providers need specialist investment in research and development as well to be able to offer the expertise needed to get medicine and equipment to the patients. In the simplest terms: better logistics can contribute to better health care,” said Angelos Orfanos, President Life Sciences & Healthcare, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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