Upstream Supply Chain Mapping

Introduction: 

This white paper reviews the present state of how the pharmaceutical industry maps its upstream raw material supply chain and the associated challenges that accompany it. Specifically, this paper aims to cover the following:

  • A review of a recent Rx-360 survey1 (hereinafter, “Survey”) of member companies regarding supply chain mapping topics
  • Approaches to supply chain mapping
  • A review of mapping software and service providers
  • A review of current supply chain mapping references gleaned from pharmaceutical industry guides and standards
  • Guidance on how to enhance one’s current supply chain mapping process

As discussed in our previous white paper “Upstream Supply Chain Security” (published April 2014), the upstream supply chain for a pharmaceutical ingredient includes all facilities involved in the manufacture, storage, and ultimate use of the ingredient and the transportation of the ingredient (or its starting materials) between those facilities. As such, the upstream supply chain would include the facility that performs the initial harvest of a starting material for a pharmaceutical ingredient through a company acquiring and using said ingredient in the manufacture of a drug product.

Therefore, the working definition for “supply chain map” is as follows: A visual representation of the supply chain that would account for all facilities within the supply chain (including contingency facilities) which provides transparency regarding how the ingredient moves throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain.

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