Partner distrust hits bottom line

Better demand forecasting can bring big savings to drug makers, perhaps to the tune of $46 billion industry-wide. The key is inventory reduction, which could also help trim the $4 billion wasted each year with the disposal of expired and obsolescent products.

An Accenture study finds that two problems underlie drug maker supply chain mismanagement: a lack of collaborative practices with downstream customers, and poor forecasting. According to a Pharmaceutical Commerce article, these problems in turn affect sales and operations planning, promoting excess inventory.

Researchers find that drug makers plan collaboratively with just 19 percent of customers. And when that collaboration takes place, the subject matter tends to be such superficial items as consensus forecasts, rather than more meaningful topics. 

The Accenture study results jibe with those of a previously reported IBM/AMR Research study that found a lack of trust between biopharma companies and their customers, which hinders information sharing and collaboration, driving up costs and inefficiencies.

- here's the article
- read our coverage of the IBM/AMR Research study