Why Aggregation in the Pharma Industry is the Future of Traceability?
In pharma, aggregation refers to a supply chain participant taking over the information from the predecessor and supplementing it with its own data. Every data aggregate is saved in a database before passing on to the next supply chain participant. Technically, it involves adding codes to the exterior of cases and pallets to identify the individual pack-level products inside. So, one can scan the code and find out what’s there inside without opening it.
Aggregation harnesses the power of technology to enhance traceability in the pharmaceutical supply chain. However, what are the other benefits that it brings to the table and makes it the future of traceability? While discussing the benefits of aggregation in the pharma sector, let us also glance through how the process works.
The Process of Aggregation
Pharmaceutical aggregation relates to uniquely serialized medicines to higher packaging levels with a unique serial number. Every blister pack, when packaged, is scanned to store information. The package is labeled as a child.
Further, many packages are stored in a single container (parent). The child’s and the parent’s unique identifiers are linked. Later, you can link many consignments to a shipping box, which you can address as a higher parent. As stated earlier, the process involves saving every data aggregate before passing it on to the next supply chain level.
Unique serialization does not confine itself to manufacturers, dispensers, etc. but extends to third-party logistics service providers. So, one can say that aggregation works as an additional protective layer to protect medicines against counterfeit infiltration, the possibility of which is very high during transit stages.
Benefits of Aggregation
While aggregation serves as an extra protective layer, the value it delivers transcends security and extends to several other areas. Accordingly, let us explore some of the other benefits of aggregation.
- Enhanced Inventory Management
During aggregation, the information collected during screening and serialization is registered with a central repository that instantly turns up the batch location when searched.
- Quicker Decommissioning
You can decommission pallets from shipment in bulk without the need to be physically present. This can be done through a mobile platform as well by searching the damaged shipment and removing it from the shipment.
- Operational Flexibility
The process helps simplify the other intricate drug EXIM chain. Since many nations will be required to adopt aggregation as a part of their pharmaceutical supply chain, large-scale adoption will help regularize and screen shipments from global pharmaceutical manufacturing countries as well.
- Faster Rework
Since you already have the location of the drug, you can quickly change the batch of a vial. You can do so by picking it up from the system and changing the unique identifiers and the batch. This eliminates the need for manual box handling. Additionally, you can get information pertinent to a ‘child’ while scanning the ‘parent.’
Challenges Involved in Aggregation
Aggregation is a significant addition to the supply chain. While the more prominent players of the industry can do it easily, smaller ones might not necessarily have the financial muscle to adopt it. Besides, for companies that have already deployed traceability suites and platforms, adopting aggregation might not be a challenge. However, for those who haven’t yet been able to keep up with the latest technology, aggregation might seem a daunting task.
Nevertheless, given the benefits of aggregation, and with the industry players gradually adopting (although it isn’t currently a mandate), everyone else will have to cope and embrace aggregation. And that precisely makes aggregation the future of traceability in the pharma industry.
Partnering with a professional traceability partner like Propix and tailoring a way out can help in this regard. To date, Propix has helped the top ten pharmaceutical players across the globe to efficiently adopt aggregation and blend it with their existing process, without causing significant disruptions to the overall supply chain.
Propix ensures continuous technology innovation to help its clients get technology as well as the strategic advantage. To know more, call +91-020-67526600.