Supply Quality Issues Is a Top Challenge for Pharma Industry

Compliance issues and increased industry consolidation (via mergers and acquisitions) are the top challenges faced by companies in today’s market, according to a recent survey of top life sciences organizations. The survey, conducted by Sparta Systems, points to the need to achieve compliance with worldwide regulatory standards as a major issue for organizations trying to maintain their competitive edge in global life sciences industries.

More than half of the respondents to the survey, which was administered to professionals in the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and blood/tissue industries, reveal that varying supply quality standards and differing mandates across countries or regions are the greatest obstacles to managing quality and compliance. Moreover, increasingly global supply chains and greater industry consolidation are causing companies to re-evaluate their current practices and adapt to the changing industry landscape. Three-quarters of those surveyed report that they work with more than four global suppliers, with growing numbers of suppliers posing potentially significant threats to supply quality when not managed properly.

Key findings of the survey also include:

The status quo is not sufficient. More than a third of those surveyed believe that their quality management systems are not adequate to manage supply chain risks and promote safety, indicating that the status quo is not enough to manage increasingly complex supply chain issues in a growing and changing market.

IT preparation is critical. Almost half of respondents reported that their companies are not equipped to manage IT consolidation resulting from mergers and acquisitions, with more than one quarter expecting that these activities would have a negative effect on product quality and safety. Without adequate IT preparation, companies run the risk of damaging their brands and endangering consumers.

Quality-related risk must be prioritized. Nearly one third of respondents do not categorize supplier relationships based on the risks they pose to the organization, exposing companies to undue vulnerability and potential product quality issues.

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