Earlier this week Marken – which is already developing a good manufacturing practices (GMP) compliant distribution facility in Bangalore – announced plans to set up offices in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore to manage the transportation of drugs and samples to and from clinical trials.
In a press statement CEO Wes Wheeler said: “We have seen steady growth and demand of our specimen logistics, drug distribution and API supply chain services in India”emphasising temperature-controlled distribution services as an area particular need.
The Indian expansion – one of several investments Marken has announced in the last few months – fits with the revised business plan Wheeler set out last month during an interview with Outsourcing-pharma.com.
He told us that Marken “is in the process of shifting its strategy to expand services and geographies,” adding that “we plan to transform from a premium courier to a full service supply chain services company.”
Marken’s strategy change – and specifically the move into full service logistics for clinical trials - will bring its offering even more closely in line with that of rival World Courier, which is a development unlikely to have been missed by AmerisourceBergen which announced its intention to buy the latter firm last week.
This idea is supported by comments by AmerisourceBergen spokesperson Nora Beger who told Outsourcing-pharma.com that World Courier's standing in trial supply distribution was a key motivation for the takeover.
“World Courier serves a highly specialized niche in the pharmaceutical supply chain, and has a very strong fit in to AmerisourceBergen’s existing portfolio of specialty solutions, but World Courier’s capabilities in the clinical trial market will add considerable value to our service offerings for global pharmaceutical manufacturers.
“AmerisourceBergen has talked about pursing a manufacturer-centric approach to our international growth and World Courier’s premium service offerings fall squarely in that mandate.”
She also explained that - under AmerisourceBergen’s ownership - World Courier will be a separate operating unit with current president, Wayne Heyland, and existing regional directors and business unit leaders expected to remain in their positions.
“We do not anticipate changing their geographic footprint as World Courier’s nearly 140 offices in 52 countries will provide AmerisourceBergen the opportunity to introduce and expand its specialty services outside of North America."