In 2013 a top pharma retailer in the US decided to donate over 300,000 does of flu vaccine to the Laos People's Democratic Republic, in the light of the regions flu season. External aid was necessary but came with its own challenges. The safe transportation of the vaccines from US production facility to consumption in Laos presented several challenges and most important among them was ensuring the integrity of the vaccine.
The vaccine was travelling over 8,000 miles and across multiple national borders, being handled by multiple parties – production, packing, trucking, airline, forwarder, airport, seaport, rail, importer, exporter, wholesaler, retailer, pharmacists etc. before reaching patients. Situations like these are common today where vaccines and preventive health care solutions are increasingly used in developed as well as developing countries.
Pharma logistics today is about the safe and secure transportation of pharmaceuticals from production to consumption while ensuring that integrity of product is not compromised.