The idea of life extension has fascinated humanity since ancient times. In the 21st century, the search for immortality inspired scientific and technological progress. An increasing number of pharmaceutical industry studies find that the medical market is tremendous and continues to grow. Today it is worth $1 trillion and counting, according to the IMS Health research agency.
Demographic factors, i.e. larger populations and longer life expectancy are the key drivers of the global pharmaceutical market’s growth. Developed countries spend more on welfare, and developing countries in Southeast Asia are investing more in human capital and new pharmacological, medical, and biochemical initiatives. By 2025, experts forecast that the market will be worth $ 1.7 trillion, making it a key global industry. Half of pharmaceuticals are exports.
“Belgium is one of the world’s top 3 medical exporters for several reasons. First, numerous American pharmaceutical companies have shifted production of their medicines, mainly vaccines, to Belgium. Second. The country’s location makes it a maritime gateway to the EU for pharmaceuticals from the USA. Third, re-exports are growing with services like product processing, sorting, and repacking,” explains Tatyana Danilyuk, Benelux Department Trade Lane Manager at AsstrA.
Ekaterina Lis, Industry Development Manager of Asstra Pharma Logistics, says: “In the pharmaceutical industry, transportation receives heightened attention. This is easy to understand – we are talking about human lives. Cooperation with transport and logistics providers is usually long-term. If a contractor is selected, the company remains faithful for years. For this reason, it is quite difficult for 3PL providers to enter new partnerships. Relationships are rarely reviewed. Cooperation begins with a multi-stage verification of the transport and logistics company that can last several years.
The first step is an internal audit. A pharmaceutical manufacturer asks a future partner for some documents concerning certificates and internal regulations. This is necessary to understand the contractor’s internal business processes and how the company handes force majeure situations.
The certificates will confirm that the company meets international requirements concerning the transport of pharmaceutical products. A GDP pharmaceutical industry certification plus Safety & Quality Assessment for Sustainability (SQAS) certification, Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) membership, and compliance with quality management standards are prerequisites for beginning partnership talks.
In order to get into a pharma company’s pool of carriers, potential partners must offer high-quality, competitively priced services. Partners look for the ability to track shipments online and semi-trailers with proper temperature controls and additional door locks with alarm systems to prevent break-ins.”
Tatyana Danilyuk continues: “Pharmaceutical companies monitor every stage of transportation. In the vehicle, a sensor is installed in the box with the goods to record and store temperature data. After the goods arrive at their destination, an authorized specialist removes the device and checks the information. If the temperature regime was not kept, the goods are not accepted. AsstrA works with long-term partners to arrange pharmaceutical shipments. All vehicles fully comply with all requirements. AsstrA clients are confident that drug shipments will reach their destination safely. To support supply chain transparency, AsstrA is introducing several new IT solutions. Customers can track the location of their goods in real time.”
“A transport and logistics company’s medical industry experience is important. Over many years, AsstrA has grown with and been a reliable partner for many pharmaceutical companies,” summarizes Ekaterina Lis.