| However, we still have an obligation and responsibility to continue serving patients with high quality medicines, and during and immediately after natural disasters we must increase our diligence. As we have learned from recent Icelandic volcanic eruptions and the major earthquake and tsunami in Japan, assuring the flow of raw materials and finished product so we can continue to serve patients is a complex task.
Natural disasters have vast and tragic effects on communities and businesses. Due to their uncertainty, companies are often ill- prepared to deal with the widespread disruption they can cause to the supply chain.
Getting pharmaceuticals to the right patient at the right time is a complex task, at best. This is even more daunting in the face of a natural disaster, where roads and other routes of transport may be unreliable, unavailable, or even unsafe.
Rx-360 recommends the following to occur after each natural disaster:
Considerations of Potential Risk
1. Identify any suppliers located within the impacted areas
2. Ask your suppliers also to identify their suppliers that are within the impacted area
3. From whom do you obtain these materials (suppliers, re-packagers, contractors, own or partnering facilities)? Where are these facilities located? Include all of the physical facility locations (mfg, storage, distribution, etc.) where your materials are handled.
4. Contact these suppliers to assess their ability to meet your needs and if they were negatively impacted.
a. For example, was their manufacturing facility or warehouses damaged or flooded?
b. For temperature sensitive materials, did the site lose power and if so how were the temperature sensitive materials stored and monitored?
5. Conduct a risk assessment pertaining to materials that are procured from suppliers within the impacted area
Considerations of Potential Impact
6. How much inventory of these items do I have on hand or are confirmed incoming? Do they expire?
7. Do I have alternate source(s) for these products or materials? How long until alternate sources can be on-boarded?
8. Were storage conditions anywhere in the supply chain adversely impacted from physical damage, water or power outages?
9. Did damage or power outages impact materials or products from these facilities?
Considerations for Mitigation
10. If any material was damaged or impacted, are there plans to salvage the material? What will be done and is it appropriate?
11. What risk mitigation steps were taken or are being taken relative to the above risks?
12. Is documentation related to mitigation activities complete and auditable?
13. What are the suppliers to your suppliers doing to assess and mitigate risk? Is their assessment and risk mitigation appropriate?