How global events are shaping the pharmaceutical supply chain

In this episode of the EY Health Sciences and Wellness Experience podcast, Derron Stark talks with Olaf Zweig and Famke Krumbmüller.

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The speakers talk about the EY report Pharma supply chains of the future and discuss the impact of global events and how a new supply chain model can emerge.

Until recently, the pharma industry has been on the straight path to globalization with integrated supply chains that crossed national borders. A series of geopolitical upheavals though, from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the crisis in Ukraine, caused the industry to re-examine its priorities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and global political tensions highlighted the downsides of a highly integrated supply chain with global dependencies. Politicians started seeking greater guarantees of national and regional supply, rebalancing supply chains to national security and interests.

The discussion then moves to the response of the pharma industry in incorporating regionalization. A hybrid model is emerging that combines globalized thinking with greater self-sufficiency. The key is end-to-end visibility so that companies have a clear line of sight of their supply chain, enabling manufacturing to continue, even in the face of short-term crises, geopolitical tensions, or cyberattacks.

Two positives that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic were greater collaboration between pharma companies, demonstrated by the vaccine development, and greater dialogue with policy makers. The way forward is the development of a partnership between pharma companies, policy makers, and regulatory bodies to build a new, resilient supply chain model.

Key takeaways:

  • Global tensions and crises have put pressure on pharma companies to re-examine their supply chains.
  • The emerging model is a hybrid one that combines globalization with regionalization.
  • End-to-end visibility is essential, not just with suppliers but with suppliers of suppliers.
  • The supply chain of the future will involve public/private partnerships and greater collaboration between stakeholders.

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available.


Episode 09


23m 55s