How IDMP Can Enhance Supply Chain Oversight and Insight

Over the past couple of years, my colleagues at CSC have discussed the impending Identification of Medicinal Products (IDMP) standards. We know now that IDMP implementation will be iterative and that the transition phase will begin in July 2016 and run until December 2017.

By Bill Romano, Solution Specialist, Life Sciences

A primary goal of IDMP is to enhance patient safety, which it does by standardizing how products are identified and making use of international identifiers for substances and generic versions of a product. While IDMP picks up from Extended Eudravigilance Medicinal Product Dictionary (XEVMPD) – and actually the first iteration will include XEVMPD data plus another 33 data elements – it goes far beyond simply being a regulatory and pharmacovigilance standard.

IDMP, together with serialization/track-and-trace regulations, will have a huge impact on manufacturing and the supply chain. But companies seem to lack a thorough understanding of the link to the supply chain, with only 49% of respondents in recent Gens and Associates survey  – saying that manufacturing and supply chain are participating in IDMP requirements analysis.

A Big-Picture Approach

So what exactly is the link between IDMP and the supply chain? IDMP identifiers will be used to verify packages and batches as legitimate, screen out counterfeits, and help agencies authorize tenders for alternative products when there are shortages. Combined with serialization/track-and-trace requirements, which will tag the end product that a patient is prescribed (in the United States, the “saleable” product), IDMP provides significant assurance on product safety.

IDMP presents an opportunity to initiate an effective master data product identification process that will offer a competitive advantage across not only the supply chain but the entire enterprise value chain. That advantage is enabled by a master data management approach that gives you a single view of your products and relationships across the enterprise. Therefore, it’s important to develop and implement an approach to medicinal product master data standardization that is robust, repeatable and easily maintained.

Taking a strategic approach to IDMP – as opposed to a rushed tactical implementation – will enable you to create a single, consistent view of data across the entire enterprise, including R&D, marketing, manufacturing, sales and supply chain at all locations and divisions.

Viewing IDMP as an Opportunity

As life sciences companies look to enhance supply chain management – moving from a product-focused to a customer-focused model – IDMP standards present an opportunity to embrace a next-generation supply chain approach that enhances oversight across the life cycle.

In terms of patient safety, IDMP provides full transparency and traceability of product information, as well as a clear view of any product safety risks, recalls or issues developing, anywhere in the supply chain. IDMP also lets you stay on top of product monitoring by improving recall of outdated or expired stock-keeping units (SKUs – or products) and the introduction of new or updated SKUs in the manufacturing and distribution channels. This will also let you stay on top of saleable unit component traceability upstream, throughout the entire supply chain and downstream throughout the distribution network and to the patient.

Having regulatory data readily available to all areas of the value chain makes it easier to reduce overall lead times in the manufacture and delivery of new products by having a consolidated product view of where the product is in the review process.  This master data approach can also help to reduce working capital in the supply chain via better inventory management.  There’s also the potential to increase the overall supply chain performance processes by reducing lead times within labelling and artwork as well regulatory submissions.

If managed strategically, IDMP gives you far greater control over your data, which enhances the ability to gain valuable insights across the value chain, including the supply chain. This could enable better post-marketing surveillance, competitor analysis, return on sales and possibly insights into marketing dollars spent per product.

Undoubtedly, IDMP will cut down on duplication and inconsistencies around product information, leading to less effort and waste throughout the product life cycle.

Get Ready Sooner Rather than Later

Given that preparation for projects as complex as IDMP is very time consuming, there’s no time to waste because the end of the transition phase will be upon us very quickly. Hopefully you’re not one of the 51% of supply chain teams not participating in IDMP requirement analysis, but if you are, now is the time to get involved.

There’s no denying IDMP is a major undertaking, but properly implemented it will have a positive effect on the life sciences supply chain and, most importantly, on ensuring patients can access safe, efficacious products quickly.

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