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Procurement in a Pandemic – Building Resilience into the Pharma Supply Chain for 2021

The impact of the pandemic has seen some sectors left redundant in the wake of national lockdowns, while others have needed to scramble to keep up with demand unlike anything they have witnessed before. The pharmaceutical sector has been instrumental to the survival of not only people, but the businesses that keep our world turning. Now, as positive news around vaccines and the arrival of the cavalry paints its efforts in a strong light, you’d be forgiven for overlooking the strains involved with getting to this position, and certainly, how these strains are set to evolve over the coming months (1).

In truth, pharma hasn’t been impervious to the impacts of COVID-19. It hasn’t been the sole floating market in a sea of drowning enterprises. Rather, it has been submerged in a different way. While others have scrambled to keep up with new trends, fluctuating demand, and ever-changing regulations, the pharma industry has needed to pivot and flex in order to support the world in its darkest hour. Domestic efforts have tied into a global effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent the virus from spreading – as well as face the knock-on effects of a stretched healthcare system.

As a result of this sudden, interconnected activity, and amid a deluge of expectation, the pharma supply chain has faced undeniable pressure. The events of this year have revealed substantial vulnerabilities within the discipline that must be overcome to realise the promise of a vaccine and respond to increasingly complex healthcare demands in 2021 and beyond.

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Melaye Ras-Work co-founded Efficio Consulting in 2000 with Alex Klein, Jens Pedersen, and Juraj Priecel after beginning her career at AT Kearney. She oversees projects spanning several geographies to deliver breakthrough transformations of clients’ procurement and supply chain operations. She also is leading Efficio’s growth in France.
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