A shipper speaks
Ryan Viegas is the Head of Logistics, APAC, for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, based in Mumbai. Teva specializes primarily in generic drugs, but also supplies active pharmaceutical ingredients and proprietary pharmaceuticals. It is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world and one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies, with facilities in Israel, North America, Europe, and South America.
100% of Ryan’s traffic requires temperature control: either 15°C-25°C, or 2°C-8°C. Goods that are allowed to fall outside their temperature bands can lose some or all of their efficacy, and could (in extreme cases) present a hazard to patients.
For the 15°C-25°C shipments, Teva generally uses passive temperature control measures such as thermal blankets; it employs active thermal containers only for the 2°C-8°C traffic.
“The supply chain has been undergoing major change over the past ten years,” says Ryan. “Whereas manufacturers were based in markets like the USA, and supplied their own market, goods are now moving in from Asia because of cost. That has created a greater awareness of the need to maintain temperatures from manufacturer to patient.”
To add complexity, some active ingredients originate in Europe, and are transported to Asia for the manufacturing process, before finished product is exported to markets as far apart as the USA, Europe and South America. “That means certification of processes from manufacturer to patient through GDP is very important.”