3PL pharma services in demand for 2007

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supply chain, Supply chain management, Logistics

This year is shaping up to be another good year for third party
logistics (3PL) services firms focused on the pharmaceutical
industry, according to Sentry.

Based on its own experiences last year, the US-based 3PL-provider said it is predicting a continued strong market demand for these services, which include the management of some of the aspects of a drug's journey from manufacturer to retailer, such as storage, logistics and supply chain.

Fuelling the demand is the general outsourcing trend currently gaining momentum in this industry, coupled with the fact that there are still only a handful of 3PL companies operating especially to meet the specific specific needs within the pharma industry.

"Specialisation in this area is important for many pharma customers because it is a highly regulated industry and there are a number of things that 3PL providers must be well versed in that are specifically relevant to this sector, such as the international compliance regulations and issues surrounding supply chain security,"​ company CEO Jennifer Marcum told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

Sentry is in the process of upgrading its systems to gain the capability to use the track-and-trace radiofrequency identification tag (RFID) software that is slowly gaining acceptance as an anti-counterfeit measure.

"We are now in discussion with some of our customers in regards to RFID as well as other supply chain technologies such as e-pedigree,"​ said Marcum.

Sentry only began its operations last year and according to Marcum the firm is expecting significant growth for its own services in the coming year.

"I am expecting a 30 per cent quarter over quarter growth in our business market share over the next year,"​ said Marcum.

"As a result we plan to double our staff to reach a round 20."

Cold chain is tipped to be a particularly strong performer, largely due to the influx of biologic drug products now in Phase III.

The majority of business is expected to come from within the US, however, the firm's foreign trade zone licence has now been activated and the company is now planning to push for new international clients also.

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