When Covid-19 began spreading across the globe, pharmaceutical supply chains were put through tremendous strain but still managed to keep producing products amidst the crisis thanks to the operational and procurement teams. Even though drug shortages continue to affect the market because of increased demands, the Covid-19 supply chain failures can’t solely be pinned to delays and API shortages.
Drug shortages post Covid-19 may have been because of discontinuations of a drug by manufacturers. However, the reasons for increase in shortages post Covid-19 was because of the sudden demand surges in the market driven by the Coronavirus. API shortages showed high dependency on China and India. Also, reports are showing that the demands that aided in mechanical ventilation, sedatives and anesthetics were higher in demand. As per the SCAIR analysis, the drug shortage in the industry can be attributed to the virus’s impact on the supply chains only in April. There were delays in shipments because of country specific lockdowns and drugs that were discontinued which resulted in blockages in the supply chains.
The pandemic has currently changed how onsite inspections and regulators are inspecting supply chains to satisfy the market’s demands. The inflexibility of supply chains at the time of crisis has revealed that there are vulnerabilities in the production not being able to meet the sudden surge in demands. There are also challenges with the transparency in the supply chains that result in more and more shortages that can be hard to pin down both internally and externally within them especially when it comes to the planning and diminishing of insufficiencies.
As time has progressed and supply chains have the pressure ease up on them, the biopharmaceutical industry has shown resilience to the unanticipated demands and continued to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances, thereby creating strengthened supply chains.