A pharmaceutical third-party logistics (3PL) provider can dramatically reduce the costs of pharmaceuticals. From wholesale pharmacy suppliers to hospitals and healthcare providers to the patients in need, minimizing such costs is essential for everyone.

The journey these drugs take defines the pharmaceutical supply chain. This includes the procurement of the raw ingredients, the manufacturer, the wholesale pharmacy distributor, and the prescribing facility. It’s what helps link a patient to their prescribed medication.

The COVID pandemic not only distributed the supply chain but also highlighted its need to be protected. It’s a vital aspect of life sciences and healthcare.

White Round Medication Pill on Red Surface forming an arrow

What is 3PL?

The pharmaceutical supply chain is made of many moving parts and sometimes there’s a lag within their connection, causing supply distributions. 3PL outsources logistics to an expert to keep things running smoothly. This helps healthcare providers to protect their pipeline—the collection, storage, and delivery of drugs—while maintaining optimal patient care.

Why is this a good idea? Transporting drugs to clients like hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies can become costly, eating up a large portion of the transportation budget.

When a pharmaceutical manufacturer or wholesale pharmacy supplier manages their logistics, they can only factor in costs pertaining to their own products. A third-party logistics expert can account for space left in transportation vehicles and allocate those to another supplier or company, reducing costs.

When you only have to pay for half of the truckload or share the costs for a storage facility, you can make sure that every cent spent is accounted for. Many drug companies are realizing that 3PL providers take a huge strain off their business management and practices while still providing efficiency and transparency throughout. According to market researchers, 3PL for pharmaceuticals was worth $94.4 billion in 2020 and is set to increase by nearly 6% each year.

A 3PL provider can also help to create a lower carbon footprint. Full trucks mean fewer trucks. If every pharmaceutical company sends half a truckload of goods out on the road,  that leaves space for another to fill. By utilizing logistics experts to allocate that space, the environmental impact of the pharmaceutical supply chain could, in theory, be halved. Of course, this intriguing math only works when all pharma companies incorporate 3PL into their logistics model.

Niche Pharma Needs Logistics Experts

Smaller pharmaceutical companies, those that work with a focused customer base, often don’t have the big budgets of larger corporations. Running in-house logistics becomes costly, especially when there are sudden changes in the healthcare market, such as a drop in drug prices or a lack of availability of specific ingredients. These specialty pharmaceutical suppliers may not have the margin in their budget to deal with a transformation of this magnitude. 

Having logistics experts on hand allows you to manage change more effectively without it feeling like a crisis. In many cases, outsourcing logistics to a 3PL provider could mean the difference between a niche pharmaceutical company thriving or barely surviving.

Pharmaceutical 3PL Understands the Relevant Regulations

Drugs and medicines have incredibly strict regulations and government requirements, meaning they have to arrive at their destination without the slightest taint or corruption. This includes temperature integrity. Some versions of the COVID-19 vaccine provided a pertinent example of why this is critical. Cold-chain management was essential for ensuring the vaccine didn’t freeze completely or go above the temperature at which it is considered viable.

3PL providers are familiar with the specialty requirements of niche pharmaceutical suppliers and manufacturers. They keep detailed logs and records of every transaction.

Crop laboratory technician examining interaction of chemicals in practical test modern lab

This eliminates the need for administrative teams to manage this aspect of the work—another way to cut costs. Delivering vaccines caused a number of challenges, but logistics teams now have the data and experience to mitigate the risks as well as provide detailed reporting on the efficiency of their practices. 

Third-party logistics experts are also experienced in managing stock rotation and managing an inventory of all sizes. Picking the right products for a huge range of clientele can be challenging. 3PL teams do this for a variety of clients across many demanding industries, making them faster, more effective, and able to provide a better service to clients thanks to extensive experience and know-how. Their knowledge of Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requirements and FDA regulations helps keep even the smallest suppliers in business.

3PL Helps You Optimize Your Strategy

Working with third-party logistics experts allows wholesale pharmacy suppliers to regain focus on what’s important to them. This could be the launch of a new product or treatment, focused deliveries for a specific part of the healthcare industry, or simply managing the production of a variety of generic drugs for hospitals and pharmacies in need. 

A complete all-in-one logistics solution helps pharma companies manage their productivity and reduce their overall costs, and leaves more money available for research and development, marketing, or the purchase of raw materials. Excellent 3PL providers can provide stats on how they manage energy efficiency and what their environmental impact is.

You have our promise that we will not rest until you are completely satisfied.

Contact us today to learn more about how our logistics experts can help you succeed with 3PL.

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