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Language: English

Understanding risk in pharmaceutical supply chains


University of Cambridge - IfM

Risk in pharmaceuticals is often associated with drug shortages: events that prevent patients getting the right medicines at the right time. In traditional supply chains, supply risk is typically managed through increased inventory. However, excessive inventory is unsustainable, and may conceal the variety of factors that may result in supply disruption.


This briefing offers multiple lenses to focus on pharmaceutical supply chain risk:

  1. Real-world data analysis to aid better prediction of disruptions and supply shortages;
  2. Expert-driven risk prioritisation, to unravel complex interdependencies between potential causes of supply failure;
  3. Simulation-based assessment of new manufacturing technologies to mitigate disruption and reduce inventory.

Outputs are generated at three levels, each contributing to more informed risk mitigation:

  • Industry-wide: Informing institutional action ahead of disruptive events;
  • Commercial Supply Chain: prioritising mitigation actions based on system-wide potential impacts;
  • Clinical Supply Chain: Inventory and waste reduction implications from the adoption of Just-in-time production.



About ReMediES

The ReMediES (Reconfiguring Medicines End-to-end Supply) project - involving 22 industrial partners comprising global pharmaceutical companies, major contract manufacturing organisations, equipment manufacturers, and logistics specialists – examined future pharmaceutical supply chains supported by novel technology.

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