During the IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Shanghai last week, close to 1000 delegates from around the globe gathered to discuss new trends and developments, network with old friends and meet new faces, and share opportunities for growth in the airfreight sector. Starting with Tony Tyler and then onto Glyn Hughes from IATA, continuing on to a customer panel including Alex Xu from Lilly Suzhou, the hot topic mentioned multiple times on the first day was “pharma”.
The new Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma program proposed by IATA provides certification to members of the supply chain aiming to assess and validate their Good Distribution Practice (GDP) compliance. As a direct competitor to other certification bodies out there, the CEIV Pharma program strives to achieve global recognition and ultimately support in reducing the number of customer audits currently faced by the industry. This ambitious goal can only be reached with the support of the industry regulators as well as representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. Companies will have to make their own business decision on what best meets their requirements, ranging from internal GDP compliance to joining an external certification program to aiming for a GDP license provided by the national authorities. Following the implementation of the EU GDP Guidelines in 2013, experience shows that thus far the number of customer questionnaires and onsite audits continues to remain a challenge for all parties involved.
Many of the companies joining the Pharma Track discussed how they have accepted the challenge of mitigating the risks in airfreight for temperature sensitive pharmaceutical shipments, sharing their experience in building partnerships, developing new data sharing tools, investing in infrastructure and testing new packaging solutions. In alignment with the WCS theme of “Improving the Customer Experience”, the customer’s voice was present in all discussions, reminding us that we are all customers of the pharmaceutical industry.
As Alex Xu, Senior Supply Chain Manager from Lilly pointed out, “someday I and my family may need the medicine we produced …”
The expectation on cold chain logistics service provides is focused on achieving a true partnership, not solely a “money-ship”, and to jointly cooperate focusing on integrity, execution and continuous improvement.
Nina Heinz, Global Head of Quality
As Head of Global Quality at LifeConEx, Nina Heinz works with her team to cover a wide array of quality matters in regulatory compliance, audits, training, partner management, customer complaints and continuous improvement. She is a member of IATA Time and Temperature Task Force and has been working closely on the developments of IATA Chapter 17 of the Perishable Cargo Regulations.