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With the first potential COVID-19 vaccine(s), anticipated as soon as late this year, supporting pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to ensure a strong continuum of efficient supply chain logistics will be essential. Logistics plays a vital role in vaccine development and delivery. Market demands, international travel and supply chain restrictions, and temperature-sensitive products, add further complexities into the mix. UPS Healthcare president, Wes Wheeler, discusses logistics’ role in vaccine development and linking healthcare workers and patients to medicines, as well as how the pandemic is impacting pharmaceutical supply chain logistics, and challenges that may arise with the supply and distribution of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. –KB Contract Pharma: How is the pandemic impacting pharmaceutical supply chain logistics? Wes Wheeler: Complexities in the pharmaceutical supply chain have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on in the outbreak, international travel and supply chain restrictions hampered the throughput of essential medications, equipment and test kits, leading to supply shortages worldwide. Market demands will continue to drive a need for certified healthcare-dedicated logistics services, including strict environments for temperature-sensitive products such as vaccines. The pandemic is reshaping the healthcare industry, and is heavily impacting global supply chains requiring unprecedented levels of logistics and distribution support. UPS Healthcare worked closely with federal agencies and global healthcare customers like QIAGEN, AmerisourceBergen, Amgen, Edwards Lifesciences, Dr. Reddy’s, Vault Health and others. The urgent mission was overcoming supply chain challenges and flight restrictions to expedite test kits, personal protection equipment, ventilators, ICU monitoring units, medical devices, and time- and- temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals to hospitals and markets around the world. We expect to lend the same extensive support when it is time to distribute vaccines to populations around the globe in the coming months. CP: What role does logistics play in vaccine development and delivery? How important is packaging? […]
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