The transport of high-quality biopharma substances is a very tricky issue. Why tricky, you might ask? It is tricky because “drug substance loss“ is a daily occurrence. To date, businesses have accepted a certain degree of loss, as logistics is not part of their core business. But this is about to change.
The ever-increasing number of approved CAR-T cell therapies requires a 100% safe and secure transport chain. Any disruptions in the transport chain will have an irrevocable impact on the patient, thus “patient safety” is of the highest importance.
Additionally, the financial loss for pharmaceutical companies is more than just a nuisance. It causes frustration amongst the responsible managers if the highly developed process chain is disrupted at will as soon as it concerns logistics and shipping.
In other words: A chain is only as strong as its weakest part. Drug substances of the highest quality are exposed to avoidable risks and bio contamination as soon as they are being transferred.
This is only topped by the protective packaging most commonly used for single use bags (for the shipment of liquids), which can be anything ranging from simple boxes reminiscent of molded pulp egg cartons to brittle hard plastic trays.
Funnily enough, when broken, hard plastic poses the biggest risk of (frozen) biopharma substances due to shards and broken pieces.
So whom can the biopharma industry learn from if not Amazon, world champion in terms of logistics? If you order a cuckoo clock like there is a certain risk of the clock being out of order upon delivery. Amazon was aware of this risk from the beginning and thus the company has put a lot of R & D into its packaging in order to satisfy its customers.
Damaged deliveries and disappointed customers cause bad ratings. This is why Amazon hardly ever delivers broken or faulty goods to its customers – the company has done virtually everything to avoid damages.
According to Amazon, the likelihood of a fully functional cuckoo clock being delivered from Switzerland to the USA or elsewhere is exceptionally high.
In case an article arrives damaged, the money is being refunded to the customer immediately – or the same product is shipped again automatically and without delay. For articles that are cheaper than a certain price the customers will be asked to dispose of said article themselves – which is clever and absolutely customer-oriented.
Thanks to a number of tests and trial-and-errors, Amazon knows exactly what the best solution is.
So what would Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, do, if he were not able to deliver high-quality biopharma substances that are 100% functional and would thus have a possible negative impact on the patient?
He would immediately realize that an expansion was pointless as long as this problem was not solved – the problem would simply grow along with the business.
Potential customers as well as shareholders would learn about the risks immediately and as a result their trust in the Amazon brand would be at stake. Bezos would hear people say that patients might pay with their life for ordering from Amazon.
It goes without saying that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos would do anything in his power to solve the problem. He would say: Is there an R & D department that can fix this problem immediately or is there a supplier that has already fixed it?
And then he would conclude: People, we need a new solution within 72 hours – after all we are not talking about cuckoo clocks any longer; we are talking about human lives.
The good news is: We have a solution – and its name is not Jeff, it is RoSS®.