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SDV Offers Reliable Pharma Services in Changing Times

SDV, a leading global supply chain management and logistics provider, is a company that springs to mind when assessed for its extensive network and diversified service. A subsidiary of the Bolloré Group with headquarters in France, SDV provides its clients with logistics services and integrated supply chain management solutions. Overall, this multinational company boasts 612 offices in 102 countries.

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Mr. Emmanuel Petrequin, Regional Healthcare Manager and Regional Aid and Relief Manager, SDV, Asia Pacific.

AFL had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Emmanuel Petrequin, who oversees SDV’s operations as Regional Healthcare Manager and Regional Aid and Relief Manager, in the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Petrequin has longstanding experience with the pharmaceutical and supply chain industry, having played an integral part in it for over two decades. In this exclusive AFL feature, Mr. Petrequin discussed SDV’s pharmaceutical supply chain management services along with the opportunities and challenges facing the pharma supply chain industry in Asia and worldwide.

Mr. Petrequin provided a brief overview of his role in SDV before kicking off the interview. “I was appointed Regional Healthcare Manager for Asia Pacific to oversee the distribution of clients’ pharmaceuticals and medical devices products,” described Mr. Petrequin. “I jumped at the opportunity of moving to Asia, as the Asia Pacific region is experiencing tremendous growth and demand for health related products and services. Because this region is undergoing terrific growth as we speak, we see great opportunities in the Asian market.” Mr. Petrequin explained.

Transporting pharmaceuticals from one part of the world to another is no easy feat as they are fragile and vulnerable. That’s why SDV incorporates extensive measures to carefully handle pharmaceutical shipments.

“We use the latest equipment to support the transportation of pharmaceuticals with highly accurate temperature monitoring and tracking systems,” said Mr. Petrequin. “We need to ensure that pharmaceuticals under our care are monitored in real-time and that we have the ability to control the temperature of its settings as needed.”

Our services keep pharmaceuticals in the cold chain throughout the entire course whether it is being transported via air, sea, or land

In addition, SDV also looks into providing its clients with efficiency and cost-effective solutions that help its clients gain a competitive edge, “We streamline our operations to provide efficiency from the production line to the patient,” Mr. Petrequin said. “We cater to the needs and requirements of our clients in a customized and highly integrated solution. SDV has access to temperature-controlled rooms that are suitable for pharmaceuticals. We distribute pharmaceutical products in temperature-controlled vehicles and we provide total end-to-end solutions. Our services keep pharmaceuticals in the cold chain throughout the entire course whether it is being transported via air, sea, or land.”

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SDV incorporates extensive measures to carefully handle pharmaceutical shipments

“We provide active temperature-controlled containers which is critical for transporting temperature sensitive shipments, for instance, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, and human blood medicines. These products are kept in strictly controlled temperature levels as they are extremely sensitive to temperature changes. The slightest change in temperature can render them worthless and unusable,” Mr. Petrequin explained.

Vigorous planning beforehand and attention to detail is a must for handling such fragile cargo in precarious environments. “Our people are professionals. They have extensive knowledge in the supply chain of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. We also provide them with necessary training and regular courses and updates on the latest technology in pharmaceutical logistics. Our employees carry enormous responsibilities on their shoulders. And, we keep our communication flow as transparent and open as possible, as we have to guarantee that every single step in the supply chain is foolproof.”

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“Every single step in the pharmaceutical supply chain has to be foolproof”

Regarding the specific measures the company takes during the transportation of pharmaceuticals, Mr. Petrequin said, “We comply with safety and security measures outlined by IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV). We meet all the strict guidelines and regulations of the industry. Contingency planning is comprehensively outlined and our people are always on alert for any irregularities and have trained for long hours to handle unexpected scenarios. We conduct frequent checks. We also actively monitor pharmaceuticals by using the latest real-time tracking technology which traces the shipment throughout the entire supply chain.”

With a Regional Distribution Center in Singapore which is SDV’s logistics hub in Asia and Pacific, the company offers transportation services for pharmaceuticals throughout Asia as well as value-added services such as kitting, late stage customization: labeling, printing, leaflet insert, packing and last-mile delivery.

We make use of Singapore’s Free Trade Zone to ship in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), substances used in drug production, and turn them into a finished pharmaceutical products.

“Our distribution center in Singapore has the advantage of being located within a Free Trade Zone, in Changi Airport. The Free Trade Zone gives us a competitive edge in many ways from easily processing pharmaceuticals through customs, to providing value-added services for finished products, and safely holding them in temperature-controlled rooms before shipping pharmaceuticals to countries around the Asia Pacific region,” Mr. Petrequin said.

“We make use of Singapore’s Free Trade Zone to ship in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), substances used in drug production, and turn them into a finished pharmaceutical product. This is a great way to efficiently cut down on costs and minimize the lengthy time and distance of transporting pharmaceuticals from say, Europe or North America,” Mr. Petrequin said.

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Logistics and supply chain providers also have to respond to changes occurring in the pharmaceutical industry which sees the bulk of pharmaceutical production shifting away from Europe and North America to Asian countries caused by the expiration of patents.

“With decades long patents nearing its end, big pharma companies in North America and Europe will lose their exclusivity to generics, which have seized upon expired patents to produce pharma themselves at a local level and for a cheaper price. This means that the rise of generics will contribute to the shift towards locally manufactured pharmaceuticals of which Asia is taking the lead,” Mr. Petrequin said.

“The emergence of intra-Asia pharmaceutical production means that logistics providers are seeking to increase their coverage to meet the demands of the Asia region. Distribution of pharmaceuticals is one of the most important parts of their supply chain. We are looking to further expand our network in this region. This is how our regional hub in Singapore for instance, plays into our advantage. We can transport pharma shipments throughout Asia in a much more efficient way due to shorter distances from Europe or North America,” Mr. Petrequin said.

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“… the rise of generics will contribute to the shift towards locally manufactured pharmaceuticals …”

Drawing the discussion to a close, Mr. Petrequin made a case for SDV’s philosophy as a supply chain management provider for high value pharmaceuticals, “Because we transport such high value cargo, it is critical to understand that there are people at the end of the supply chain whose lives depend on these products. This mindset creates awareness and an inherent understanding which differs from logistics providers who focus on other types of cargo. In the event of pharmaceuticals running into the slightest trouble, the losses in terms of reputation and well-being of patients are colossal and ultimately tough to compensate. There is no room for any miscalculation whatsoever and the stakes are high for everyone involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain.”