Over half (53%) of life sciences and healthcare manufacturers prioritise quality assurance over cost in selecting their supply chain partner, and the industry is on the fence (48% vs. 52%) about whether the pharmaceutical industry will soon be comparable to the FMCG market.
These are some of the key insights from the Supply Chain Healthcare Forum held in Sydney recently. The annual event, organised by DHL, brought together 33 manufacturers from the sector, offering an opportunity for manufacturers, government and industry bodies to openly discuss the future of the industry and how supply chains can enable profitable growth.
A customer poll provided significant insight into where the industry is headed and where manufacturer priorities lie. Findings included:
89% of customers believe strategic partnership to be the most important attribute when selecting a supply chain partner;
72% of those polled said they expect the deregulation of industry bodies to have an impact on their bottom line; and
48% expressed a belief that the pharmaceuticals industry will be comparable to the FMCG market in the near future.
The event featured keynotes from Andrew Stuart, deputy secretary with the Department of Health; Laurie McAllister, managing director of Sanofi ANZ, and Saul Resnick, managing director at DHL Supply Chain Australia, who discussed how current industry trends affect supply chain operations and how best to adapt in an ever-changing landscape.
“Increased consumerism, generics and substitutions, and highly specialised medications are all impacting what consumers expect and how the industry must evolve. These forums allow our customers to get in front of key industry figures and ask the questions that matter to them,” said Mr Resnick.
He also added: “Providing life-saving products is a big responsibility, one with risks that far outweigh those in a typical supply chain environment. The robust discussion at the forum highlighted the industry’s commitment to quality assurance, leveraging intelligence and creating innovative systems and processes as the market changes.”
The event included a panel session of industry experts, with Mark Crotty, VP Hospira ANZ and chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association, Kos Sclavos, consultant for Sinapse and immediate past president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and Dr Martin Cross, chairman of Medicines Australia, providing customers an opportunity to ask the burning questions. High on the agenda were discussions around the patent cliff and the competitive generics market, the arrival of biological medicines, the implications of patient monitoring and big data, and the age-old question of whether pharmaceutical manufacturers should be able to advertise to consumers.
Laurie McAllister highlighted the need for the industry to start thinking differently: “Many Australians are already actively engaged in their healthcare, spending around $1.3 billion on vitamins, minerals and supplements in the past year. This consumerism is a positive trend and, while not all patients will approach their healthcare as consumers, the more people engage in their health the better their health outcome will be.”
“For healthcare companies like Sanofi, we believe by really listening to patients and the community, we will gain deeper insights that will help us design even more innovative treatments that will in turn better benefit the patient,” he concluded.
You can download DHL’s Key Logistics Trends in Life Sciences 2020+ whitepaper here.