Nippon Express: Forwarding the future of pharma

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As the global pharmaceutical trade booms, the need for more stringent quality control throughout its supply chains is increasing. Nippon Express, the world’s fourth largest logistics provider, is committed to building an IoT-based logistics platform which promises to be a boon for the industry.

Challenges to pharma distribution

The global pharmaceutical market is booming. Global spending on pharma topped USD 1.2 trillion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate above 6 percent in the past five years. The figure is set to reach USD 1.5 trillion by 2023. As medicines crisscross the world, ensuring their secure delivery has become ever trickier. Temperature-sensitive medicines, such as the new class of biological drugs, need to be kept in precisely controlled conditions throughout every step of delivery. Longer supply chains and extreme temperatures brought about by climate change are making this task more difficult. Globalised trade has also heightened the risks of counterfeit medicines. The deplorable practice is estimated to affect as much as 2.5 per cent of global drug trade and kill some 200,000 people a year. Theft, too, is a concern. When medicines are lost, companies have had to recall and dispose of the whole production lot for safety reasons at tremendous cost. Read more.