TRAX 2004: Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Summit

Venue: Washington

Location: Washington, District Of Columbia, United States

Event Date/Time: Jul 19, 2004 End Date/Time: Jul 22, 2004
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With over 300 senior level decision-makers expected to attend, TRAX 2004 addresses the integrity and efficiency of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Session formats include plenary sessions, keynote addresses, panel discussions and case studies highlighting

The three-day summit focuses strategic issues including:

Supply Chain Integrity (Anti-counterfeiting, corporate policy, litigation, working with distributors, hospital expectations, etc.)
Cold Chain Management
Bar Coding Requirements
Packaging and Labeling
Information Systems Integration
Logistics and Management (Streamlining, Optimization , management, ROI, charge-backs, changing roles, handling contract negotiations with downstream handlers, etc)
Raw Materials Management/ Excipients
Regulatory Compliance
Hospital & Pharmacy Integration
Supply Chain Quality Control and Anti-Counterfeiting
Distribution Logistics and Efficiency
IT/IS and Automation Integration: Integrating Information Systems into the Supply Chain
Operations Efficiency
Hospital and Retail Integration
Hospital Pharmacy Integration
Profit pressures combined with low R & D productivity makes streamlining and optimizing supply chain operations an even more crucial link to the future success of the drug industry. Top down pressures to optimize profit margins by cutting operational costs is forcing the drug industry to increase efficiency of operations. However, unlike other industries, the drug industry and its many participants in the supply chain (manufacturers, distributors, hospitals, pharmacies, and consumers) are a heavily regulated industry.

Due to the patient safety aspects of the drug supply chain -- regulators, such as the FDA, are focusing more on supply chain issues as a means to increase safety for consumers. Starting with the PDMA, the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, the FDA's proposal to mandate bar codes on pharmaceuticals and biologics to the unit of use, and more recently the Jul 16, 2003 FDA Anti-counterfeiting initiative. All the initiatives point to one trend: The drug supply chain needs to be traceable from the point of manufacturing to consumption. However, manufacturers do not have full jurisdiction over their products as the travel along the chain toward consumers. For this reason, open communication and best practices for downstream handlers must be explored in order for safe and effective medications to reach consumers.

End users and purchasers, such as hospitals, retail pharmacies, and GPOs are also are requesting that track and trace technologies be introduced to help link drugs to patients to prevent medication errors and to help with hospital supply chain and billing efficiencies. Introduction of track and trace technologies, such as bar coding and RFID is not trivial. Manufacturers, distributors, and end purchasers face numerous technical challenges in assuring proper labeling and packaging of traceable goods, IT and database management considerations, and patient privacy concerns.