Experts: Target distribution for cost savings

Optimizing pharma distribution systems is "the only way" for drugmakers to cut costs. Supply chain partners battling for distribution control, increased global logistics costs and customs issues, and changing regulations from a host of government agencies conspire to keep distribution costs high, according to consultancy Tompkins Associates.

EVP Gene Tyndall says life sciences execs need to figure out how to integrate multiple supply chains--lest they wind up managing "multiple, non-optimized supply chain units," the byproduct of mergers and acquisitions. Tyndall has identified 11 pharma supply chain priorities for 2011 and will present them at the July Pharmaceutical Distribution Conference in Philadelphia.

Supply chain integration may go a long way toward easing the uncertainty among supply chain leaders. Tompkins' VP John Musante found earlier this year that uncertainty has become such a force, it's a new variable in supply chain business planning. Some 60 to 80 percent of respondents to a survey say that uncertainty has a high to medium impact on supply chain costs and speed.

- see the IPQC announcement