DHL doubles clinical trial logistics depots

Targeting the trend toward drug development efforts that are global in scope, DHL has boosted to 16 the number of its clinical trial logistics depots. The expansion extends the reach of the 3PL's clinical trials logistics service to 64 countries.

The new facilities are in the U.S. India, China, Panama, Canada, Chile, Argentina and Lebanon, representing a doubling of DHL's existing depots. The service is intended to help sponsors scale back their own clinical distribution networks to fewer supply points.

Clinical trial supplies have become a lightning rod for drug development cost savings efforts. Small quantity production, coupled with short-timeframe delivery, is challenging to drugmakers, their suppliers and service providers. And the growing use of adaptive clinical trials ratchets up the difficulty factor over that of traditional trials. In fact, researcher difficulties in estimating medication supplies, and in trial supply chain management in general, are cited among barriers to the adoption of adaptive clinical trials.

Like their logistics counterparts, trial-management software makers are also answering the need. Software provider Phase Forward, for example, last fall debuted the IRT 5.0 interactive response solution to help trial managers control clinical supply management. The software includes an integrated drug forecasting module for global supply management.

- here's the DHL release

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