‘Fly and drive’ Pharma Logistics

On 25 March, Thomas More Mechelen, a local university, organized the event “Logistics day”. This year’s topic was: Pharma Logistics. Several key note speakers were invited to give an exposition about how they experience today’s pharmaceutical supply chain. Geert Verniers, BD Director and Co-Founder of 4Advice, gave a presentation on the challenges and improvements for the Pharma industry and its Cold Supply Chain.

Geert started with a brief introduction on the challenges of the EU GDP Guidelines, with its 245 requirements that have to be implemented within the Operation of a Logistics Service Provider, with  focus on the Quality and Integrity of a temperature-controlled  Pharma Shipment.

Geert surprised the audience by presenting a real ice cream, which melted during the 25 minutes presentation. The same principle goes for pharmaceuticals they are not safe to use if the shipment has been exposed to temperature excursions. The only difference is that you can’t always see if a pharmaceutical has been affected by temperature.

Furthermore, 4Advice’s BD Director highlighted some major challenges to maintain the Cold Supply Chain:

1/The challenge to maintain the required temperature throughout the entire Cold Supply Chain.

2/The required winter and summer temperature mappings of the cool rooms and trucks.

3/ The crucial documented physical checks at each handover point ensuring the Cold Chain can be maintained.

4/ The many stakeholders in the Cold Supply Chain, with their multiple subcontractors, which must be managed via audits, with focus on their GDP trained personnel and the requirements regarding infrastructure and equipment.

To end the presentation, Geert showed several pictures he took in the last 3 years, as an Auditor on behalf of the Global IATA CEIV program. These pictures showed incidents and irregularities within the Cold Supply Chain, endangering the quality and integrity of the Temperature-Controlled Pharma shipments.

After the presentation, there was an interactive quiz which was provided béy Niels Declerck, 4Advice’s Junior Consultant.

“Logistics day” was a great edition this year, thanks to all the key note speakers of the industry. The students were enthusiastic about Pharma Logistics and we hope a lot of them will join the industry within a few years.