Kuehne+Nagel as a logistics partner is active over the entire cycle of vital healthcare products – all over the world.
The emergence of Covid-19 in 2020 severely disrupted the lives and the lifestyles of individuals and societies worldwide. It also spurred an immediate drive to develop an effective vaccine that could restore normalcy to everyday life. Pharmaceutical companies, innovators, manufacturers, regulators and logistics providers embarked on an unprecedented collaboration that rolled out the Covid-19 vaccine in record time, overriding traditional ways of working and setting new benchmarks for speed, efficacy and collaboration.
The essential role of logistics
Logistics plays an essential role in this product life cycle acceleration. But if its impact is to be maximised, its requirements must be addressed early, in the clinical development phase. Typically, the logistics needed for a product’s commercial launch is planned a few weeks prior or upon approval, such planning should be conducted in parallel to its regulatory reviews. This will permit the product’s distribution immediately upon approval, to reach the patient sooner, optimise its patent protection period and potential roll out to additional countries.
“We believe that the unprecedented response that allowed the rapid creation of the Covid-19 vaccine will have a lasting impact on the healthcare industry, as the expectations and timelines for the development of a new medicine, therapy or medical device have been transformed.”
Robert Coyle, Senior Vice President Healthcare Strategy at Kuehne+Nagel
The benefits will be all the greater if the innovator teams up with a logistics partner who can support them throughout the product’s entire life cycle. Having transported it in the clinical phase, such a logistics partner will already be familiar with the product and its logistical requirements. And having been closely involved from such an early phase, they will also be ready to ship to markets as soon as the requisite approvals are obtained.
The Covid-19 vaccines and life cycle acceleration
The unprecedented speed at which Covid-19 vaccines were rolled out in 2020 and 2021 shows how the transitions between the phases in the lifecycle of healthcare products can be accelerated to serve patients faster. The Covid-19 pandemic has led manufacturers, regulatory institutions, and logistics partners to all work together to ensure a fast, smooth and safe R&D process and subsequent distribution.
For Kuehne+Nagel, these developments translated into an immediate need for support throughout the sensitive R&D phase, along with proactive commercial supply chain design. Needs were proactively addressed, even though the new Covid-19 vaccines had not yet been approved. Kuehne+Nagel was compelled to plan and prepare despite the uncertainties and without defined volumes, destinations or compliance requirements. To date, Kuehne+Nagel has diligently shipped over 1.2 billion vaccine doses to 90 countries all over the globe.
Kuehne+Nagel connects the world for healthcare products
Kuehne+Nagel has always been committed to expediting a treatment’s product life cycle. The company reliably supplied people worldwide with Covid-19 vaccines in the shortest possible time in 2021. Robert Coyle, Senior Vice President at Kuehne+Nagel, says: “We believe that the unprecedented response that allowed the rapid creation of the Covid-19 vaccine will have a lasting impact on the healthcare industry, as the expectations and timelines for the development of a new medicine, therapy or medical device have been transformed.”
From R&D to the patient
Kuehne+Nagel covers the highly sensitive and sophisticated logistics that are required for the product’s clinical phase through its subsidiary QuickSTAT, a company with over 40 years of experience managing clinical trial and commercial logistics for drugs and medical devices in more than 150 countries. The wider distribution to patients worldwide is then scaled up with Kuehne+Nagel Healthcare. “This enables us to adopt a broad approach that, in the end, benefits not only patients by giving them earlier access to the drugs and therapies they require, but pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, too”, states Robert Coyle.
As part of a long-established healthcare development plan, Kuehne+Nagel keeps investing to ensure that we can support our customers and their patients throughout the product lifecycle. Kuehne+Nagel’s healthcare logistics specialists work together as an extension of its customers throughout their product’s lifecycle—from raw materials to final medical product and from discovery to end of patent.
Robert Coyle concludes: “As a logistics partner active over the entire lifecycle of vital healthcare products—from R&D to end of product life—Kuehne+Nagel is uniquely positioned to enable an acceleration of the lifecycle, reduce time to market and speed up accessibility for patients worldwide. For when it matters most.”