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Pharma's Almanac x SGD Pharma - June 2022

What do you consider the biggest challenge that the pharma/biopharma industry currently faces?

Source: Pharma's Almanac - June 24, 2022 - RoundTable - Nadir Lahmeur, General Manager (Americas) at SGD Pharma. 

From the point of view of a primary packaging manufacturer, the biggest challenge to the pharma industry today is manufacturing operation disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and compounded by the war in Ukraine. These events have significantly impacted global supply chains in terms of access to raw materials (including packaging components), and it is increasingly challenging to transport them from the supplier. Continuous labor shortages are driving productivity down and delaying necessary validation and qualification activities, further exasperating final drug product availability. Energy market increases have also impacted operating costs for suppliers in industries with a heavy dependence on energy, such as glass manufacturing. These factors combine to drive up supply chain and operating costs, causing back orders.

To mitigate these types of supply chain challenges, the industry is focusing more on the development and manufacturing of drug products and partnering with suppliers to take on more of the non-core activities. For example, we are seeing an acceleration towards the implementation of ready-to-use (RTU) primary packaging components as a preferred solution. Filling machine equipment manufacturers are also answering to this trend by providing more options to handle RTU and non-RTU components to allow for maximum flexibility for pharma companies. SGD Pharma’s Sterinity platform of molded glass vials has also been strengthened to offer sterile RTU vials to its customers and meet their demand for added services to be provided by suppliers.

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