Did you know that more than half of all vaccines manufactured in the world every year are destroyed during the distribution process? Issues such as storage, temperature control and stability of vaccines during delivery are all variables that affect the quality and efficacy of products destined for patient consumption.

As Pharma companies look to broaden the access of communities to their products especially in developing markets around the globe, working with a trusted partner is important. Picking a partner that has the market infrastructure of required capacity and quality, and knowledge of international regulations is key to ensure that quality and integrity of products are maintained throughout the distribution process.

Throughout the years, Zuellig Pharma has been developing, implementing and expanding the footprint of new and improved ways to ensure that the quality and integrity of drugs distributed is ensured in the Asia-Pacific region it serves. At the Logipharma Conference in Montreux, Switzerland, Brett Marshall, Head of Quality Assurance chaired a panel discussion on challenges and opportunities in emerging market distribution models, and how quality is maintained throughout the supply chain.

Brett also weighed in on the pros and cons of air and sea freight, the key modes of transit from the manufacturing centres of Zuellig Pharma’s clients in Europe and the Americas to the Asia Pacific region. The sea freight option continues to win over volume share, at lower cost, with a reduced carbon footprint, and with significantly less risk as compared to air freight which requires significant investment to address the airside risks of tarmac temperatures. With a more robust and stable infrastructure, sea freight containers have made significant progress in temperature monitoring capability and real-time data transmission that helps to ensure product quality. It is the understanding of infrastructure capabilities and performance of technologies to enable healthcare access in the markets of Asia Pacific that makes clients source for partners like Zuellig Pharma and its strong culture in Quality Assurance.

While maintaining product quality and integrity in the distribution is a core focus, Brett also stressed the importance of introducing technologies that improve forecasting accuracies to manage product demands with diverging supply chains which become increasingly patient-centric, and a strong people focus driving competency and career development through internal training programmes which reflect the evolving trends, international regulations, and procedures and processes around Quality Assurance.

Speaking on the importance of picking the right partner, Brett says, “We’ve built our Quality Management System (QMS) internally consolidating requirements of a number of international regulatory organisations and the QMS remains current with enrichment as international guidelines evolve. We monitor and anticipate global regulatory changes that are implemented and incorporate these new guidelines into our QMS, and then implementing these changes within the business operations. This helps maintain our standards and quality culture of our offering from the inside out, ensuring Zuellig Pharma’s capabilities meet the needs of our partners.”