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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Route to Sustainable Procurement

Sustainability and environmental protection efforts are now mainstream in society, and have become a common goal across all major industries: the biopharma industry is by no means an exception. A recent paper by Biogen lists the following drivers for biopharma to improve its environmental practices fast: increased life expectancies and chronic disease rates, the increasing representation of eco-conscious millennials in the workforce, a more stringent regulatory environment, climate change, and changing investor expectations (1).

The biopharma industry has been working on the issue for quite some time, and as a recent survey by Pelican Biothermal confirms, 66% of key opinion leaders in the biopharma cold chain always factor sustainability into cold chain purchasing decisions (2). In addition to this, 64% of organisations report that they always inquire about sustainability when performing audits of suppliers, and 52% indicated that they, in turn, were audited for sustainability by vendors supplying their organisations, highlighting that the biopharma industry is rapidly moving towards prioritisation of sustainability.

Within these purchasing decisions, the sustainability of medical devices is equally important. Increase in self-administration with biologics and the need to create combination products for subcutaneous delivery mean that pharmaceutical businesses must select appropriate delivery devices for their drugs; these devices are likely to be single use only.

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George Ions is currently Head of Product Strategy and Insights at Owen Mumford having worked for the original equipment manufacturer and now Pharmaceutical Services division of the organisation since 2006. His current focus is on deciphering the rapidly changing pharma and biotech sectors in relation to their needs for combination products. In his previous roles in business development he worked closely alongside R&D to develop devices for a variety of global pharma and diagnostic clients. Prior to Owen Mumford, George worked for Abbott in EMEA marketing roles in Germany, focusing on their diabetes business.
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