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Monday, February 23, 2015

Strategic CSR - Pharmaceuticals

The article in the url below is notable primarily because it deals with the supply chain responsibilities of suppliers, rather than distributors. In other words, it looks forward and up the supply chain, rather than behind and down the supply chain:
"Drug manufacturers will have to adhere to new rules governing the chain of custody for pharmaceuticals as they move through the supply chain, with others in the distribution system eventually having to come into compliance."
Much of the supply chain debate within the CSR community focuses on the responsibilities that companies like Walmart, Nike, or GAP have for their suppliers. There is little discussion about what responsibilities suppliers (such as mining companies or pharmaceutical companies) have for how their products are used further up the supply chain by distributors (see: Strategic CSR – Distributors):
"The Drug Quality and Security Act, which takes effect Jan. 1 [2015], will 'make sure the drug you are getting is the drug the manufacturer produced and that every set of hands that touched it in the supply chain didn't compromise it at all.'"
The result should be responsibility spread more evenly throughout the supply chain (among companies that are, after all, all independent entities), with greater transparency leading to better outcomes for consumers:
"… companies will be required to keep records of the transaction history of the drugs moving through their systems. … Such a system also will help guard against the introduction of counterfeit drugs, which will not only protect a company's revenue stream but also guard against any potential reputational harm. … Eventually, consumers will be able to scan their medicine at a retail counter to authenticate whether it is real or counterfeit."
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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New Drug Supply Chain Rules Set to Take Effect
By Ben DiPietro
December 16, 2014
The Wall Street Journal