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Forces, trends, and decisions in pharmaceutical supply chain management

Christian L. Rossetti (College of Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Robert Handfield (College of Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Kevin J. Dooley (W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 12 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine the major forces that are changing the way biopharmaceutical medications are purchased, distributed, and sold throughout the supply chain. This will become important as healthcare reform moves forward, and logistics will be transformed in this industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple interviews with key informants at each level of the value chain were combined with manifest text analysis from practitioner articles to derive key insights into the primary change drivers influencing the future of the biopharmaceutical supply chain.

Findings

The research discovered radical shifts in the structure of the biopharmaceutical supply chain. Future research into biopharmaceutical supply chain practices will need to explore three primary issues: How will supply chain member compensation influence the power of parties within the network? How will the role of supply chain intermediaries change the landscape of medication delivery to the end customer? What impact will the role of regulatory constraints on product pedigree and proliferation have on this network? The relationship between these forces is mediated by operations strategy concerning inventory policy, supply chain visibility, and desired service levels.

Research limitations/implications

The research was based on multiple interviews with a convenience sample, as well as text analysis from practitioner articles. These findings are an initial step to guide future more in‐depth research for this dynamic and contextually rich supply chain environment that impacts consumers in every country in the world.

Originality/value

The paper adds insights into the pharmaceutical supply chain, examining this from multiple perspectives.

Keywords

Citation

Rossetti, C.L., Handfield, R. and Dooley, K.J. (2011), "Forces, trends, and decisions in pharmaceutical supply chain management", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 601-622. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600031111147835

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited