API chemical, commercial packaging, and logistics and transportation some the biggest commercial supply chain concerns amid COVID-19, reveals survey

24 December 2020 (Last Updated December 24th, 2020 04:40)

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced pharmaceutical companies to revaluate their supply chains including reshoring manufacturing of APIs, intermediates and other products.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced pharmaceutical companies to re-evaluate their supply chains including reshoring manufacturing of APIs, intermediates, and other products.

GlobalData has conducted a survey to assess the major commercial supply chain concerns for pharma companies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies were classified into two categories for the purpose of the survey – companies with predominantly marketed drugs​ and companies with pipeline and marketed drugs​.

Supply chain risks associated with API chemicals were the biggest concern for companies with predominantly marketed drugs, as expressed by a majority 27% of the respondents in Q1, which increased to 29% in Q3.

The next biggest concern for them was API intermediates, with approximately 19% of the companies voting for it in Q1, compared to 14% in Q3. Concern over the same was lesser for companies with pipeline and marketed drugs, at 11% in Q1, which increased to 13% in Q3.

Logistics and transport was the biggest concern for companies with pipeline and marketed drugs in Q1, as opined by 25% of the respondents. The concern, however, decreased to 17% in Q3.

Commercial supply chain concerns

Commercial supply chain concerns by company type: Q1 vs Q3

Commercial packaging was listed as one of the risks related to supply chains by 18% of the companies with pipeline and marketed drugs in Q1, which declined to 7% in Q3. Companies with predominantly marketed drugs expressed lesser concern over the same in Q1, at 4%, but the concern increased to 7% in Q3.

Logistics and transport was the main concern for 15% of the companies with predominantly marketed drugs in Q1, which declined marginally to 14% in Q3.

API biologics including advanced therapeutics was voted as a major concern by 8% of the companies with predominantly marketed drugs in Q1, the concern regarding which declined to 0% in Q3.

Concerns over API biologics including protein and peptide decreased for companies with pipeline and marketed drugs, from 12% in Q1 to 7% in Q3. Supply chain concerns related to API chemical too declined from 11% in Q1 to 9% in Q3.

In Q1, 8% of the companies with pipeline and marketed drugs expressed concerns regarding commercial dose injectables, which increased to 11% in Q3. Non-API raw materials was expressed as the major concern by 4% of the companies with predominantly marketed drugs in Q1, which increased to 7% in Q3.

Other concerns raised by the two types of companies were related to commercial solid dose, commercial non-sterile dose, and other commercial dose materials.

The analysis is based on responses received from the Pharmaceutical Trade and Supply Chain Survey between 07 July and 30 July 2020.