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The Pandemic: Impact on Medical and Pharma Supplies

The Pandemic: Impact on Medical and Pharma Supplies

Pharmaceutical Industry Overview In The Context Of The Pandemic

The recent pandemic has disrupted every single thing it touched. The economies of developing and developed countries plummeted, and millions of people had to suffer severe consequences. The global uncertainties became too vague, and it affected every single one of us. However, one global aspect that was affected significantly was the supply chain. From everyday goods to industrial-grade goods, supply and demand have become obscure. The pandemic also affected the medical and pharma supplies to the great extent. To understand the pharmaceutical industry overview in the context of the pandemic, it is vital to corroborate that the impact is much larger than perceived. Researchers estimated that since medicines and pharmaceutical supplies were the number one tool against the pandemic, governments would require them in enormous quantities. The small pharma companies could not increase the production numbers while the big pharma had delays due to regulations, research and development process, and whatnot. All of these translated into supply shortages, extensive demands, and panic buying. We also observed that stocking at the global level also occurred. This became a havoc situation that persists to this very day. From essential medicines to hygienic products, the pandemic disrupted everything to its core. The capacity and capabilities of pharma were overestimated, and hence, it was nothing but chaos everywhere. The disruption did not only end here. Medical devices, PPE, and protective clothing’s demand skyrocketed. The governments and global organizations stepped in but no major change was observed. The supply chain of pharma got down to its knees.

How Did The Pandemic Affect the Medical Supply Chain?

We are all aware of the fact that China is one of the biggest manufacturers in the world. Wuhan is one of the major six cities that leads the manufacturing of complex medical devices. This includes most of the medical laser equipment market but is not limited to that.
Unfortunately, the pandemic outbreak started from the very Wuhan China plans to make its health-centred industrial hub by 2030. Due to the forced lockdown and a shortage of manpower and raw resources, the supply of critical commodities has been severely affected. The distribution of raw materials across regions is not possible due to the lack of smooth connectivity between regional warehouses; this scarcity of raw materials and components severely affected the medical equipment supply chain.
Due to this shortage of medical equipment, many countries faced difficulties in fighting against the virus. Only patients who were diagnosed and in a critical condition could be kept hospitalised. Globally, pharmacists are still working on formulas to create a medicine that could eliminate this virus, once and for all. However, until it’s done we are left with clinical aids, like atomizers, life-support machines, oxygen generators etc. Moreover, the use of medical kits increased. All in all, a major supply chain disruption was noticed in the medical sector as the pandemic started.

Effects Of Covid-19 On Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Flow Chart

As we saw the global disruption in the pharmaceutical supply chain, we also learned the lesson of how we are not prepared to combat unexpected and inevitable diseases. We practically did not see it coming, and we severely underestimated our numbers and figures. The global pharmaceutical supply chain flow chart in terms of pandemics exposed our lack of vision for a safe and healthy world. The problem is much bigger than perceived. What we saw and still see is a huge global problem. There was no such thing as a collaboration between pharma companies or the governments themselves. Despite the complexity of the pandemic, pharma companies were rather in a race with each other to succeed. This was another reason for disrupting the pharmaceutical supply chain. Noticeably, there were delays and barriers in R&D and production. All the necessary aspects that would bridge the gap in production and supply were left empty. The pandemic showcased every single vulnerability in pharmaceutical industries. As a result, we observed a super inefficient supply chain structure. The crisis has not been completely overcome, and that is the bigger picture. The pandemic impacted the pharma supplies so significantly that we are still in the phase to this day. The exposed vulnerabilities will need a plethora of strategies to be overcome. All of the bodies related to the pharma must partner up to build a trusted, effective, and sustainable supply chain.


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