Health sector faces new challenges

Medicina online

The health sector is facing changes globally as new regulatory environments, demands and challenges preoccupy companies; while in North America (Mexico, United States and Canada) companies are focusing on their supply chains.

That is the finding of the Sixth Annual UPS Survey on Health Services “Pain in the Supply Chain” elaborated by the market investigation firm TNS in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Asia and Latin America.

“Changing regulatory environments, new demands from clients all over the world, challenges regarding the protection of products and increasingly complex articles, oblige industry executives to make strategic investments in the supply chain,” reported UPS.

Furthermore investment in new technologies and models for commercialization are a priority for investors seeking to transform the business and the logistics necessary to cover the new necessities faced by this market.

In these matters, the consultant Deloitte notes that the pharmaceutical industry in Mexico, whose annual sales reach 14 billion dollars a year is one of the largest markets in Latin America, faces various challenges.

Deloitte agrees with UPS that the supply chain, new technologies, regulations and the rise of generic medicines are important challenges for these firms adding to these new business models, electronic prescriptions and the aperture of emerging markets.

For these reasons the world-wide transformation of the health sector the next five years will bring business opportunities; 84% of companies will invest in new technologies and 78% will enter into new international markets, according to the annual survey by UPS.

The survey also found that 70% of companies will implement new distribution channels such as going directly to suppliers, retail sellers or even patients, while 59% will increase the outsourcing of logistic services.

Together these strategies reveal a movement toward a transformation in the supply chain of the health industry which was worth 309.8 billion dollars worldwide in 2010, according to government service Promexico.

On the other hand the sixth edition of the survey by UPS is the first in which the protection of products beats the administrations of costs as the principle supply chain worry for 53% of executives.

Companies also face challenges regarding the protection of products, an area in which the principle worries are the increased sophistication of fakes (49%) followed by lack of transparency in the supply chain.

Regulation and cost are the worries in North America

In particular in Mexico, the United States and Canada companies in the sector share regulations and the administration of costs throughout the supply chain as principle worry, according to 60% of the people surveyed – a higher percentage than in the rest of the world.

In that sense UPS warns that “meeting regulatory requirements is a worry for 66% of the logistic executives in North America, as well as being the principle barrier to global expansion for executives in the health sector from this region.”

Despite these anxieties companies nonetheless successfully resolve these problems in different ways, from the analysis of supply chain optimization to investments in logistical partners.

(Eduardo Hernández / Mexican Business Web)

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