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Securing trust in the global COVID-19 supply chain

From development and delivery to acceptance and administration

COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, and the associated medical devices and consumables, present an urgent need for a protected supply chain and a system of traceability built around globally identified products. Are organizations ready to take on the challenge?

Deloitte recently joined executives from GS1, The World Bank, The World Health Organization, and the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists to discuss how global standards can contribute to an efficient distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines globally. This session was a part of GS1’s Healthcare Executive Dialogue series which brings together senior leaders from the health care industry and major organizations across the life sciences and health care value chain to discuss key challenges and opportunities and early learnings presented by the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. A recording of the webinar is now available for free online.

The pandemic has led to unparalleled collaboration between life sciences organizations, academia, and other health care stakeholder around the world to advance a COVID-19 vaccine. At the same time, the life sciences industry’s innovation is on center stage, and the pandemic has only accelerated adoption of advanced technologies. As rollouts are becoming a reality now, it is important to note that multiple vaccines will be necessary to meet the need for worldwide vaccination. Each vaccine has its own specialized requirements, and each country has varying resources to accommodate them—making an already complex supply chain, even more dynamic and uncertain.

While the production of a vaccine comes with its own set of challenges, studies suggest that trust is an underpinning factor for the successful launch, distribution, and acceptance of vaccines. Life science leaders need to focus on areas—product integrity, ethical distribution, and communicating transparently—that can nurture trust amongst public. Government leaders, regulators, and public health authorities need to continue to be sensitive to the safety of the vaccines and the resources they need.

Today, companies are readying their COVID-19 vaccines and have shared protocols for a “real time” exchange on the scientific, deliberative, and inclusive trial process. But how can companies protect supply chain integrity while distributing the vaccines? Are organizations and governments ready with capabilities to store, administer vaccine products, and deal with any unprecedented logistical challenges? What steps can drive vaccine confidence with the public?

Deloitte, in collaboration with GS1, a not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication, shares insights into how organizations can secure trust in the global COVID-19 vaccine supply chain.

To secure public trust, organizations and governments will need to:

  • Advance industry collaboration across the value chain
  • Embrace and promote global standards for supply chain security 
  • Anticipate challenges for safe and efficacious delivery of vaccines
  • Use clear and transparent communications for vaccine confidence

The report also focuses on the importance of embracing global standards and discusses the roadblocks in safe and efficacious delivery of vaccines.

Securing trust in the global COVID-19 supply chain

In an interview with the PharmaBoardroom, Joe Lewis, Managing Director, Life Sciences Supply Chain Practice, Deloitte outlines the key concerns of Deloitte’s pharma clients around manufacturing and supply chain operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also sheds light on how companies can come out of the crisis stronger and highlights some of the major issues surrounding vaccine allocation and deployment.

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