Streamlining Supply Chain in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Subject Area:Management

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This article sought to bring to light issues that arise due to a defective supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry. A model that is used to evaluate the tests based on the harm, coast as well as the benefits arising from the test will be revealed. Finally, a solution to the industry’s supply chain problems will be given. I. Introduction The pharmaceutical industry is growing and gaining momentum in the global market. Similarly, the supply chain involved in the industry is getting more complex. As quoted by Abdallah and Ghazaleh, “the World Health Organization (WHO) defines a drug as a substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold, offered for sale or represented for use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of disease, abnormal physical state or the symptoms thereof in man or animal. ” From this definition it is evident that drugs are sensitive in nature and consistent precaution and safety measures need to be upheld when handling them. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to ensure safe and high quality products are provided to the consumer. The demand and supply of drugs is distributed all across the world. Also, due to the long chain of players in the production and distribution of pharmaceuticals, ensuring quality and adequate collaboration at each level is important. As stated by Biotto et al. business establishments have a higher chance of gaining superiority in the global market if they integrate quality practices all along their supply chain. In general, this article seeks to present the main challenges witnessed in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Peak International Products B. V organization will be specifically targeted since its operations revolve around trading Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients that can be termed as drug substances. The main issues in the industry are traced back to the supply chain. As a result, firms need to adopt an appropriate high-end technology which will help them deliver high quality products. Additionally, they will minimize the rate of product recall due to quality issues. This will help to safeguard the reputation of the organization since recalls tarnishes the name of the company in the market which could consequently lead to financial losses. com nd. III. Problems identification The main issue facing the firm is the inefficiency in the quality maintenance of pharmaceutical perishable ingredients. For high quality medical substances, they are required to meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Supply Practice (GPS) standards.

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There are strict conditions that are put in place by GMP with regard to drug production. The reason behind is that temperatures can fluctuate within the container potentially resulting in product degradation, as well as multiple gel packs will add to storage, labor and shipping costs. Finding qualified carriers can add to this challenge, as temperature-controlled transportation requires specialized trucks and equipment, specific driver training, and increased liability in an industry coping with driver shortages and capacity constraints. IV. Solution developed 1. Basic Composition and Classification of RFID Technology The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that is used in the creation and utilization of intercommunicating embedded devices known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The cabinets have an option of setting the inside temperature to cold (2° to 8°C) or an induced room temperature ranging from 20° - 25°C within the enclosed storage.

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No matter the location, alerts notify users if a cabinet goes out of range. In addition, because of the detailed inventory visibility the system provides, users know exactly what pharmaceutical materials was in the cabinet when the out-of-range incident occurred, so inventory can be pulled as needed (Grackin 306). Why choosing RFID solution for the company? RFID solutions are versatile and its implementation can be used a multifaceted approach to pharmaceutical industry (Attaran 256). Various factors are to be taken into consideration when implementing this solution. From this approach an RFDI based support system is designed with the aim of ensuring inventory accuracy. The process of using objects to meet the requirements of a business organization is referred to as design goals. When developing a warehouse management system employing the RFID technology to be used in input and storing data regarding pharmaceutical materials, several factors need to be considered.

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Some of these factors are legal legislations as stipulated by the government. Also operational factors of the management system need to be considered. Tracking Products in the Warehouse RFID technology should be placed on-site at the distribution warehouse and other remote location. As a SME organization, Peak International Products B. V organization should adopt passive RFID tag within the warehouse as the price of it is cheaper than the other two remaining. Additionally, the use of RFID tag within a management system can go a long way in improving the efficiency of the system, like availing a real time inventory, controlling access to information, managing payment systems as well as efficient asset management. Before stocks enter to the warehouse with reader is placed at the entrance, they are required to place passive tags on the packages which contain all information about the item, lot, production and expiration date as well as product origination.

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Exclusively, employing such RFID sensors will automatically signal alerts if vaccine storage moves outside a specified temperature range, whether during removal from a refrigerated environment to a shipping container, or due to a refrigeration malfunction (Saboo et al. Implementation Plan For implementation plan, it initially require to involve searching for a solution-based outlet such as cloud services and RFID service providers who will help in addressing the problem at hand (Mital et al. In this, it is recommended that IBM Company is an ideal solution as they provide an all-inclusive package comprising of both software and hardware systems (Mital et al. Moving to the stage of testing and implementation, the warehouses and transit vessels will be assessed for compatibility before the systems are fitted by professionals from the chosen firm. The monitoring system will be implemented on warehouse-level and transit vehicle as mentioned in the above part.

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The cost of middleware is brought about by the purchase of software and other support infrastructure needed for the efficient functioning of RFID operations. Investing on the right software and infrastructure that best supports the RFID is important. Incomplete software integration may act as a barrier towards the achievement of the full potential of the RFID system. Finally, service cost is brought about by factors such as such as the cost of installation and configuration, redesign cost, among other transition costs. An in depth study on the current status of the organization is necessary in identifying an approximate service cost. Air circulation and product’s temperature contribute to this phenomenon. This does not guarantee that the cold air reaches all products hence some products get spoiled. Second, the unreachable range of the RFID reader can be seen as another critical challenge (Attaran 251).

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This might due to blind spots depending on product stacking during storage. This obscurity will prevent the sensors from getting the product’s information. Considering the fact that it is an automated system it can be installed in the cloud where maintenance and security will be assured. With reduced manpower required in the organization, the RFID automated system would help to minimize on cost incurred in paying the workers. Recommendations to deal with challenges. For consistency, the sensors and other equipment being installed should be similarly calibrated and regularly checked for inconsistencies. Also, the transmission passive tags should be well located on equipment for real-time transmission. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal 12. Grackin, Ann. Counterfeiting and piracy of pharmaceuticals. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine 27. Otoshi, Kenji, Hiroshi Tomita, and Toshiyuki Kaneko.

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Xiang, Xiang, Juntao Li, and Xingxiang Tao. Research of a Pharmaceutical Enterprise Warehouse Management System Based on RFID Technology. Research of a Pharmaceutical Enterprise Warehouse Management System (2016): 43-47 Baysan, Serdar, and Alp Ustundag. The cost–benefit models for RFID investments. The value of RFID. html http://www. bizearch. com/company/Peak_International_Products_B_V_87621. htm.

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