This is the first in a series of articles on “Outsourcing in the Life Sciences Sector”
The life sciences industry is growing rapidly as patients look for personalized medicines and innovative products which provide meaningful value at a reasonable price. To meet their growing demands, pharmaceutical giants are breaking away from traditional models of distribution to improve time-to-market and streamline the supply chain. A recommended way to manage these shifts and keep the cost of medicines as low as possible is the Direct-to-Pharmacy method. A knowledgeable Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL) is key to leveraging the various benefits of the DTP method. They will help you manage the specific challenges of distribution, compliance, quality and cost control, so that you achieve a high performance in this field.
Four reasons to outsource to a 3PL:
Supply chain flexibility
A 3PL can manage changes in demand, transportation and business processes much more effectively than a pharma company. Their transportation assets, distribution strategies, and reaction rates are faster and smoother. They know how to enter emerging markets, deal with recalls or high volatility, and offer flexible rates and options. They have the resources and experience, equipment and machinery, to perform with the kind of agility which a pharma company cannot match.
In the United States, only 50% of patients follow their prescriptions. This low compliance leads to loss of revenue and short windows of loyalty. The DTP model helps retain revenue by ensuring patients are adhering to prescriptions and instructions. Compliance with prescriptions and medical devices is much higher through the DTP method as there is a more thorough understanding and service offered right to the patient’s hand in the most convenient way.
A 3PL that has an already established global network can offer more range and possibility of customers and locations for you. Rather than creating your own networks and facilities, you can tap directly into their ready distribution channels and methods. Not only will they have offer discounted forwarding rates, fast connections with distributors, wholesalers and even patients in healthcare facilities, but they will also have regional knowledge on security and regulations. Penetrating new markets without a 3PL who has local knowledge will take longer and be less competitive.
Indeed, a supply chain company needs to seriously consider marketing needs to ensure brand loyalty and patent protection. Further, to fulfill multiple and bespoke orders through various distribution channels, a 3PL needs to organize separate customer segments and even customer experiences. After all, the supply chain and pharmacy is no longer about being a simple dispensary but rather a well-being hub, requiring services such as digitization of prescriptions and patient journeys which show custom care and attention.