Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Leaders Fear Extreme Vulnerability in End-to-End Supply Chain as Pandemic Continues

Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Leaders Fear Extreme Vulnerability in End-to-End Supply Chain as Pandemic Continues

PR Newswire

NORTH READING, Mass., Nov. 18, 2020

Industry survey of 530+ supply chain leaders in several countries reveals concerns about widespread drug shortages, cost increases, drug safety, and a lack of resilience as many prepare for third wave of COVID-19 infections

NORTH READING, Mass., Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- New industry research announced by TraceLink Inc., the leading digital platform company for the life science supply chain, reveals that the pharma industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19, citing significant challenges with drug shortages, limited access to critical medicines, increased production costs, and heightened concerns around drug counterfeiting, diversion and theft.

75% of pharma supply chain leaders agree that the pandemic will greatly increase problems with drug diversion, including theft and counterfeiting of critical products (such as test kits, vaccines and anti-viral medicines)

The IDC White Paper, sponsored by TraceLink, "Supply Chain Agility in the Pharmaceutical Industry," surveyed 532 global supply chain leaders across organizational levels and functions in pharmaceutical companies, wholesale distributors, hospitals and pharmacies. The benchmark study highlights systematic issues in the resilience of the pharmaceutical supply chain as the industry braces for a third wave of the pandemic and prepares for safe, worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatments.

Drug shortages are the top challenge faced by supply chain leaders, with growing concerns around diversions and counterfeits

Poor visibility and a lack of agility are inhibiting pharmaceutical supply chains from being resilient to any disruptions

Further collaboration is needed

"Pharmaceutical supply chains are still struggling to adapt to the global COVID-19 pandemic and prioritize business planning for the future, a worrying concern as we face a possible third wave in this pandemic," said Simon Ellis, Program Vice President, Supply Chain Strategies, IDC. "When both demand and supply are erratic, supply chain agility becomes a critical capability to meet patient needs. Agility requires much tighter and more transparent holistic relationships with suppliers, and levels of collaboration that have not been consistently achieved in the pharmaceutical industry, largely because of the constraints in sharing accurate data."

"The past eight months have stretched healthcare supply chains to the limit, demonstrating that today's siloed approach to managing disruptions simply will not work," said Shabbir Dahod, president and CEO, TraceLink. "Traditional information-sharing and business processes need to be broken down in order to improve agility, provide actionable visibility, and increase end to end supply chain resilience. Next generation technologies like digital network platforms and supply chain work-management software applications that are designed to work across multiple enterprises can improve supply chain performance and ensure the timely delivery of medicines to patients all over the world."

For more information on this research and to hear the survey results, watch the on-demand webinar with TraceLink and guest speaker Simon Ellis of IDC. The full IDC White Paper is now available.

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About TraceLink

TraceLink is the leading platform company for the life science supply chain, bringing hundreds of thousands of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations closer to their patients on its digital supply network. In today's world of unpredictable supply chain disruptions, TraceLink solutions bring the precision, agility and visibility necessary for high performance digital supply chains to thrive in a constantly evolving environment, enabling companies to ensure every patient gets the medicines they need, when they need them, safely and securely. With headquarters in Massachusetts, TraceLink has six global offices through North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. For more information on TraceLink, visit

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