We all knew too well the challenges of finding paper towel, toilet paper and other consumer goods at the outset of COVID-19. But what about intermediates and raw materials for critical drugs? While supply chain disruption has begun to tame down, there continues to be delays in receiving critical materials.
The impact of the pandemic has caused some level of disruption in key aspects of the API manufacturing supply chain in terms of availability of those raw materials and supplies, transportation delays, and prices.
Especially for Contract Development & Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) or any company working in a chemical plant, there have been problems receiving Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as Tyvek suits and other protective gear used in the plant.
The challenges have been widespread. The Institute for Supply Management conducted a survey in February and found that nearly 75% of responding companies reported some kind of supply chain disruption due to COVID-19 and more than 44% didn’t have a plan for addressing supply chain disruption from China.
From trucking routes, to air and sea cargo, transportation challenges have impacted the steady flow of goods across the global supply chain. Raw materials or PPE have been unable to reach ports due to lockdowns and a shortage of manpower at air cargo facilities, terminals, shipping ports, warehouses and customs offices have created significant delays.
Fortunately for Seqens CDMO NA, we mostly deal with highly specialized chemicals and require smaller amounts of raw materials, so we have not been as sharply impacted as other CDMOs or pharma firms. In addition, because of Seqens’ global reach, with subsidiaries across Europe and the U.S., we’re able to draw upon the robust network of suppliers, and share company-wide resources.
Despite each company’s unique situation, it’s important to have a plan for anticipating and addressing supply chain disruption during the pandemic and beyond.
Consider the following five measures:
Smooth supply chains are the key to the proper flow of goods and disruption at any stage can have dire consequences on the delivery of critical ingredients for drug development. One major lesson that has come out of the pandemic is that today’s CDMO needs to be proactive to anticipate supply chain disruption and remain flexible in order to quickly pivot to meet a volatile situation. By turning our lessons learned into practice, all firms will be the better for it.
For more insights from Seqens CDMO NA please read: The Top 5 Reasons API Projects Fall Behind; Keeping the Plant Open During the Pandemic; or Setting Unprecedented Records in Vaccine Development During the Pandemic.