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Setting priorities for growth in 2011

Pharmaceutical, biotech, medical products, and healthcare are blending into a more unified industry that will be challenged by customer requirements and regulatory compliance issues.

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Protecting your products from tampering, theft, and counterfeiting throughout their lifecycle is listed as the fourth of “Top 11 Priorities for 2011 for Pharmaceuticals, Biotech, and Medical Products,” according to Tompkins Associates.

Patent expiration and generics, regulatory, e-Pedigree, and lean/efficiency are also mentioned as priorities for the new year by Tompkins, which describes itself online as a “provider of growth and business strategy, global supply chain services, distribution operations consulting, information technology implementation, material handling integration, benchmarking and best practices,” with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The top three priorities are much broader-based: Uncertainty, Inventory/SIOP, and Tax Effective Supply Chains.

Listed below are a few nuggets from the report with a more direct focus on packaging (see how they compare with Healthcare Packaging's top 10 online stories from 2010):

• “Whether you implement generic strategies within your organization or choose to diversify by acquiring generic companies, these [patent expiration and generics] come with supply chain issues often not associated with brand products. Make sure that you build a distributor relationship that can handle growth and volume change, has domain expertise, and supports lean supply chain operations as multiple generic options of the same product appear and margins are squeezed.”

• “With more frequent recalls expected, the FDA's scrutiny of drug and medical device approval will rise in all markets. At the same time, regulations do not appear to be moving any closer to a true, workable global standard.”

• “Robust supply chain processes are needed to deal with product recalls, and expired and recalled product disposition, as well as support of spare parts for expensive diagnostic equipment.”

• “Ensuring traceability and product authentication at every change of custody point within the supply chain presents manufacturing and distribution operations with significant cost challenges. Focus on developing, testing, and implementing solutions in pharmaceutical and medical equipment labeling, packaging, processing, and handling.”

-Jim Butschli, Editor, Healthcare Packaging
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