Prime Fresh Handling has years of working with the pharmaceutical supply chain and is a leader in medicine and pharmaceutical logistics. Because of our experience in transporting, handling, and warehousing pharmaceuticals and medical supplies all over the world, we have learned so much. In this blog, we want to help our readers answer the question, “What is the pharmaceutical supply chain?”
The pharmaceutical supply chain is where prescription medicines are manufactured and transported to patients. The chain includes manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and pharmacy benefits managers. This supply chain is complex, and companies must know how to deal with common challenges and changes to get medications and supplies where they are needed when needed. All of these factors must learn how to react when the demand for certain medicines increases. This is common during flu season.
How Does the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Work During Flu Season?
The flu, or influenza, season takes place in countries that have a mild climate and a typical seasonal disease during colder months. Flu season in Western Europe starts in December, reaches its peak beginning mid-February, and ends in April. In the USA, flu season often peaks from December to February. What the overall impact is will vary from season to season.
This means that supply chains need to know how to react and handle the rise in demand for antiviral medications that help fight the flu, such as:
- Oseltamivir phosphate (also comes in a generic version or under the trade name Tamiflu)
- Zanamivir (trade name Relenza)
- Peramivir (trade name Rapivab)
- Baloxavir (trade name XOFLUZA)
Most of these come in both a liquid or pill form for patients, except Zanamivir which is a powdered medication that is inhaled. It is recommended to first consult with a healthcare professional before taking any of the above medications.
During flu season, consumers will rush to their local pharmacies and drug stores to stock up on some of these antiviral drugs, often causing a slight sense of uncertainty for the flu season. Over-the-counter buying behaviors from previous years have helped supply chains prepare and make some predictions for the upcoming season in an attempt to have enough supply ready. Having a supply chain management system in place can help these necessary medications get to their final destinations in a timely manner, whether it is to pharmacies, drug stores, or even hospitals.
Do Hospitals Participate in Pharma Supply Chains?
Once the pharmaceuticals are manufactured, they are then transferred to wholesalers and distributing partners, like Prime Fresh Handling, where they are finally passed to providers. This is the path of a traditional supply chain, from manufacturers to pharmacies, hospitals, and special facilities. Hospitals and other special facilities are the final destinations for all manufactured medicine that will go through the pharmaceutical supply chain.
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If you need any more information about the pharmaceutical supply chain or the other services we provide, contact Prime Fresh Handling today. You can also find more news and information in our blog. Check it out on our website.