Advancing the biopharma cold chain
Vendors and service providers scramble to serve a growing market
With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein of Broadway musical fame, we can say that “biopharma cold chain is bustin’ out all over” in 2016. The steady stream of openings of dedicated, temperature-controlled warehouses and intermediate storage areas for biopharma products ticked up noticeably in the past year. More and more freight forwarders, air carriers, trucking firms and 3PLs (third-party logistics providers) now have branded life sciences services. Technologies for packaging life sciences products and clinical trial materials (CTMs) are advancing, as are digitally based networks and devices for tracking shipments through supply chains.
According to estimates by the Economist Intelligence Unit, WHO, IMS Health and others, global healthcare spending is ripping along at a 3–4% annual rate currently, and is approaching $10 trillion globally. That’s 2–3 times the rate of population growth. Within that, global pharmaceutical spending is projected to rise by 4–5% through 2020. And within that, according to Pharmaceutical Commerce’s 2016 Biopharma Cold Chain Sourcebook, spending on refrigerated (2–8°C) drugs is growing about 7% annually, or 41% during the 2014–2020 period (Fig. 1).
Looking at the entirety of pharmaceutical logistics, the Sourcebook projects that cold chain currently represents 19% ($12.6 billion) of a $78.8-billion industry, rising to 22% ($16.7 billion) of a $93.8-billion industry by 2020 (Fig. 3).
- 2016 Forecasts
- Capacity bust-out
- Getting in on the act
- Active vs. passive
- IoT cold chain
- Ocean shipping
- Cell culturing
Source: Pharmaceutical Commerce