Pharma Chamber commends medical supply chains | Sunday Observer

Pharma Chamber commends medical supply chains

8 November, 2020

The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) lauded all those involved in the pharmaceutical supply chains for their proactive efforts in ensuring the uninterrupted supply of medicine throughout the country in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

An SLCPI official said that pharma-companies had been quick to respond with critical adjustments to business processes, and complemented by new technological abilities which resulted in more agile, patient-centric supply chains, all of which was instrumental in providing uninterrupted services despite disruptions in logistics and a rising Covid-19 case count.

Baurs’ Director of Life Sciences, Gehan Seneviratne said, “Given the massive disruptions to air freight operations with the closure of the international airport, we had to rapidly switch to sea freight for products with ambient (+15c to +25c) temperature control by using reefer containers for packing and prioritising and finding air freight for urgent cold chain temperature controlled products.

“This created other issues, as we had to ensure that medicine was stored and transported at an optimal temperature within a stipulated time frame while complying with all standards and guidelines. This was a real challenge,” he said.

Sunshine Pharmaceuticals CEO, Shantha Bandara said, “As soon as the lockdown began, our first task was to obtain curfew passes so that our teams were able to continue delivery of medicine uninterrupted.”

Similarly, Hemas Pharmaceuticals introduced new app-based programs for its staff and customers, allowing secure, real-time communication during the lockdown.

Hemas Pharmaceuticals, Managing Director Jude Fernando said, “Using this app, we connected to customers with our showroom outlets while also linking sales staff with pharmacies, ensuring timely delivery of critical products”

With Covid-19 cases again on the rise, the SLCPI reiterated the total commitment of its membership to consolidate on those major improvements, while drawing on lessons learned during the first lockdown to ensure that the industry would continue to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicine in the challenging weeks ahead.

“The first lockdown was certainly one of the most challenging periods for all Sri Lankans, and our industry too had to contend with novel difficulties.

The steps that were taken at that time are quickly becoming part of the ‘new normal’ for all our members,” SLCPI Vice President and Executive Director of George Steuart Health, Sanjiva Wijesekera said.