Finally, and despite the conference room table being strewn with Styrofoam coffee cups and half-eaten takeaway, each supply chain planner and quality control inspector breathes a collective sigh of relief as the following message blinks throughout the command centre:
For most, a holiday to Amsterdam is just that: a chance to unwind, enjoy the wonderful Dutch culture, and take in those sights and sounds only found in the Netherlands.
For some, though, a trip to the city may be more than a tulip-filled excursion abroad on account of its more liberal policies when it comes to offering alternative and ground-breaking cancer treatments to those who have tried more traditional means in the battle of their lives.
Think back to those times when either you or yours received troubling, life-altering news.
Perhaps you were at the bank being told you did not qualify for a small-business loan on account of your credit history or, conversely, on the way to the grocers when you received a phone call alerting you to the passing of a loved one.
Nine times out of 10, though, most bad news is delivered in GP offices the world over after you or a close friend receive an unexpected, though not entirely incurable, prognosis. That said, doctors and care teams are quick to begin prescribing medications in line with protocols meant to save one’s life and which patients are wont to take immediately.
The healthcare industry continuously fights to solve the common supply chain management challenges it faces, including the lack of real-time package tracking solutions, optimising time-critical shipments, and securing environmentally-sensitive medicine. Unfortunately, the outcome of this problem often comes down to costly services for the end recipients. Patients, the most vulnerable category, become the bumpers for unforeseen circumstances in the supply chain.
It is an impossible task to put a price tag on human life. When health and wellbeing are concerned, no soon is soon enough. And since more and more people are in need of an urgent ailment fix due to rising prescription drug rates, the costs for delivering indispensable remedies to patients can skyrocket.
And just like that, a drone, carrying life-saving medical supplies, cuts what was once a two-hour journey over rough terrain down to 15 minutes.
And in so doing, saves countless lives, reduces waste around spoilage of blood and medicines, and means fewer trucks on roads already susceptible to highway robbery, hijackings, or flooding.
Sounds like science fiction, right? Well, it’s not and it’s happening in parts of Rwanda as we speak.
But what if you do not operate in the far-flung reaches of the Middle East, Central Asia, or Africa? Or (and we’ll do you one better here): What if you do not have the funding for this sort of cutting-edge technology?
No matter, as cold-chain technology, or those temperature-controlled logistics products necessary in the delivery of pharmaceuticals to end-users the world over, are looking to take off (no pun intended!) with supply unlikely to meet demand until 2022, at the soonest.
This is not to say technology should be dismissed when optimizing the cold chain; rather, accurate tracking software and monitoring devices are absolutely imperative in the movement of pharmaceutical products since tracking package integrity means no risk of spoilage or worse, legal action.