Asia set to lead the way on healthcare but supply chains face complex challenges

New biopharma, medical advances and innovative healthcare products largely evolved in developed parts of the world before making their way to emerging markets. These sectors are still dominated by companies in North America and Europe, but a gradual shift has started towards Asia in terms of global innovation. Asia is now poised to lead the way, as a growing patient population and increased investment in infrastructure supports the trend to home-grown biologics and other innovative therapies. This growth in biologics will deem necessity of new supply chain demands. China and South Korea are the most active in Research and Development (R & D) such as clinical trials prompting expansion of healthcare hubs in a thriving innovation ecosystem. Yet the trend from small molecular drugs to a biologics-driven drug creation process is one which is increasingly complex, time-consuming, expensive and risky.

The complexity of these drug materials that FedEx is now transporting every day means there’s a greater need for more sophisticated logistic and distribution solutions. The challenge the company have as supply chain partners is to find that critical balance between the cost effectiveness of shipping active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations to research laboratories, with safety, trackability and regulatory compliance.

A high-risk industry demands highly-differentiated solutions. As a result, customers have identified pain points in the transportation process. Pharma customers of FedEx in China cite product quality, speed, logistics costs, regulatory compliance, operational quality and end-toend supply chain expertise as absolute must-haves for their Speciality Pharma, Biologics, Vaccines and Clinical Supplies.

In such a competitive climate, highly specialised logistic solutions take on even greater importance - providing fast and professional customs clearance, timely and accurate monitoring throughout the journey, and most significantly, cost-effectiveness.

Solutions like FedEx technology SenseAware controls and monitors temperature -sensitive shipments, provide real-time tracking and visibility into inventory using GPS communications. Building secure and compliant distribution solutions requires stronger collaboration with customers. FedEx is putting innovation into practice - by integrating technology with transportation and also integrating compliance with the supply chain process . This is raising the overall service level of the supply chain industry to better meet the requirements of biopharma customers, ensuring innovation remains at the heart of everything we do.