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IBM Study Reveals Drug Companies Struggle to Improve Supply Chain to Battle Counterfeiting, Safety Concerns and Global Complexity
Date:9/9/2009

ansition, supply chain executives are outsourcing more business processes, turning to emerging markets and becoming more globally integrated, all while actively managing risk," said Dr. Philippe Cini, IBM Global Business Services, Life Sciences Supply Chain Management Partner. "The companies we spoke with said they are looking to a different kind of supply chain - one that gives the insight to react instantly to risks or threats, is much smarter and able to provide them the insight and agility necessary to compete in a changing marketplace."

Counterfeiting is one of the biggest risks facing the pharmaceutical industry today. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 10 percent of the worldwide drug supply is counterfeit. To combat such risks, sophisticated simulations and data models help companies calculate risk, and building intelligence into products and packaging such as barcodes, RFID tags and other smart devices, supply chain executives can prevent theft. This type of new intelligence along with e-pedigree and track-and-trace capabilities also enables the entire supply chain to respond quickly in the event of a recall.

Using smarter, more intelligent supply chain systems that connect suppliers, manufacturers, distribution and customers can more effectively allocate inventory around the world, making real-time adjustments in production and distribution and avoiding costly stockpiles. With the help of sensors and other smart devices to communicate and share information, new efficiencies can be attained. For example, smart pallets of flu medication can sense what and how much medication they are carrying, monitor proper levels of refrigeration and storage, and automatically send a signal when the pallet needs to be replenished.

A smarter supply chain helps drug companies capitalize on revenue opportunities in emerging markets while more advanced customer insight allows firms to tailor th
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SOURCE IBM
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