Digitization and Cold Chain Technologies are Key Issues
Daniel Dombach, Director EMEA Industry Solutions at Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA) ), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, talks about current trends in pharmaceutical logistics.
New Challenges for Pharmaceutical Logistics
More than any other event, the Corona crisis has raised public awareness of how important the healthcare sector is. While many office workers were able to move their activities to the home office, emergency and rescue workers, doctors, nurses and caregivers depended on the smooth supply of vital medical supplies. The indispensable role of laboratories in the analysis of blood samples and the development of drugs and vaccines was also reinforced in public perception by the crisis. Pharmaceutical logistics became an important growth industry. The current challenges facing the industry are digitization and cold chain tracking.
Digitization in Pharmaceutical Logistics
In 2015, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the U.S. stipulated the complete recording and traceability of all drugs and medical devices. Manufacturers must know exactly where their products have been in the supply chain at all times so they can identify and remove potentially counterfeit, stolen or harmful drugs from the supply chain. Complete traceability must be achieved by November 2023. For big pharma, this means a huge digitization push.
Cold Chain Tracking with EDGE S-400
One of the challenges in pharmaceutical logistics for which Zebra can provide a solution is cold chain tracking. "It started two years ago when the first COVID-19 vaccines came to market. It was very difficult to transport the Biontech/ Pfizer vaccine at such low temperatures," recalls Daniel Dombach. "Now there are different packaging materials for cold chains and a number of cold chain tracking solutions."
Together with Temptime, a cold chain tracking device manufacturer which Zebra acquired in 2019, Zebra can offer the S-400 temperature sensor. This Bluetooth sensor is a cost-effective solution for wireless temperature monitoring. Via app in the smartphone or tablet, the sensor is read out. The complete temperature data can be evaluated on site and uploaded to the cloud.