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Gill McCann

Head of Life Sciences, DHL Supply Chain, Ireland

Maurice Meade

Managing Director, DHL Global Forwarding, Ireland

As a committed EU member, Ireland is at the heart of Europe and plays a vital role manufacturing and supplying life-saving medicines both globally and in to Europe.

Throughout the past year, there have been a number of Life Sciences start-ups and major expansions in the Irish market. We are home to all 10 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies, 24 out of 25 of the world’s top biopharma companies and 18 of the world’s top MedTech companies.

IDA Ireland has reported that over the past decade, €10bn has been invested into new biopharma and biotech production facilities in the country, representing “close to the biggest wave of investment in new biotech facilities anywhere in the world.”[1]

Storing and distributing critical drugs safely

Ireland can boast a vibrant industry, manufacturing critical drugs and exporting them globally for decades. But this requires storage, handling and distribution under strict regulatory and security conditions and across the full range of temperatures required to protect the drugs. Such critical drugs require high levels of security, protection from fire and strict temperature-controlled zones ranging from ‘ambient’ (room temperature), ‘chill’, right through to ‘frozen’ and ‘deep frozen’.

We continue to invest in the solutions needed by our Global Pharmaceutical Customers in Ireland, which are critical to enable patients to access these revolutionary medicines.

An integrated global network

“Many companies are beginning to recognise the benefits of a more integrated approach to supply chain management,” says Maurice Meade, MD of DHL Global Forwarding, Ireland. “Traditionally, companies have managed their inbound supply chain at a plant level. But, by enabling a more holistic view of the inbound supply chains, international delivery networks have reduced complexity, providing visibility from pick up to point of delivery, making them more agile and responsive to market demand. This has allowed logistics teams to reduce the amount of inventory sitting in warehouses and release working capital for other needs.”

Such integration can help the logistics company – and those with whom they collaborate – through the uncertainties that Brexit might give rise to. In one instance, the logistics team in Dublin ensured a successful delivery of a life transforming service into the EU ahead of the Brexit deadline. The delivery was a ‘Brexit contingency’ plan, focused on critical patient supply – always putting the patient first.

Patients come first in logistics future planning

Investment in deep frozen capability is underway to support the complex supply chain needs of the next generation of ground-breaking medicines being researched in Ireland, personalised medicines and cell and gene therapies that promise to revolutionise disease treatment.

Gill McCann, Head of Life Sciences and Healthcare said: “We continue to invest in the solutions needed by our Global Pharmaceutical Customers in Ireland, which are critical to enable patients to access these revolutionary medicines. These treatments are complex in their manufacture, personal to a patient and require a safe pair of hands to safeguard them in transit.”

Ireland remains ideally placed to manage global and European pharmaceutical and clinical supply chains. Supply chain and transportation services help the industry operate compliantly, safely and efficiently, while ensuring the continued provision of life-sustaining and life-transforming medicines to patients worldwide out of the centre of excellence that is the island of Ireland.

DHL supports the life sciences sector across R&D, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and hospitals, and has developed customised Worldwide Medical Express and Thermonet networks which enable end-to-end proactive monitoring of temperature-sensitive shipments. DHL has its own airline with over 250 dedicated aircraft connecting over 500 airports and 22 major hubs globally.

The team has also developed further services for its pharmaceutical customer base – amongst which controlled drugs, deep frozen and GMP services.

[1] https://www.idaireland.com/doing-business-here/industry-sectors/bio-pharmaceuticals

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