Sanofi is a a single-of-a-variety pharmaceutical organization for the contemporary age. Self-explained as ‘pushing the frontiers of science’ and ‘chasing the miracles of science to enhance peoples’ lives’, the 100,000-plus employee company provides ‘life-changing remedies and lifestyle-saving vaccines’ to people all around the world, in much more than 100 countries.
The gentleman in demand of the complete strategic sourcing and shipping and delivery approach for the pharma enterprise is Arnaud Dourlens, Head of Medical Source Chain Functions, who also oversees throughout the world trial supply.
At heart, although, Dourlens is an engineer. He began his career in the FMCG (rapidly-moving client merchandise) industry, doing work for giants Procter & Gamble. Later on, he moved into the luxurious sector – the area of beauty powerhouses this sort of as perfume and cosmetics’ leader Christian Dior.
“For extra than 10 years, I labored across functions, the source chain, new products launches, and industrialisation – first in the makeup place and then in each beauty space, indicating make-up, fragrances and skincare,” outlines Dourlens.
In 2017, he switched to Sanofi as Manufacturing Director and embraced the pharmaceutical natural environment. All through this period, Dourlens was based at the Compiègne web-site, in Northern France.
“It’s very a strategic site right here,” claims Dourlens. “I led the group on the road of website improvement and transformation to be suit for the future.”
Dourlens joined Sanofi due to the fact he was passionate about the pharmaceutical subject and had experience in demanding, high-additional-price environments.
“I was very pleased to have labored in the luxurious sector, building it attainable for men and women to be even extra stunning than they are, thanks to make-up and cosmetics,” suggests Dourlens. “But getting a component of a journey where by you are permitting individuals to accessibility remedy, to improve the daily life of some people today on a every day foundation and enhance their wellbeing could be a bit considerably less trendy, but it’s so important.”
Dourlens joined the pharma’s Clinical Provide Chain Operations in Montpellier in 2020, through the COVID-19 pandemic, in this period of chaos, it was up to Dourlens to be certain the business continuity.
“That was not simple,” claims Dourlens. “As Worldwide Head of Scientific Offer Chain, I’m heading the environment supply chain of Sanofi’s scientific development – overseeing additional than 300 scientific experiments, generating confident that we are offering their investigational solutions to all the scientific patients, both at residence or at healthcare facility.”
Clinical demo source chains – a source of value
Dourlens believes that the scientific demo offer chain can be a source of benefit for sufferers and the health care sector.
“When a patient is suffering from a ailment, he or she is in a difficult circumstance and scientific trials are an selection of care for him or her,” points out Dourlens.
Driving the medical demo, there are a lot of functions that are going on all over defining a protocol, defining the way in which the study will be carried out, and the way that the details will be managed.
“The primary detail that the affected person will see when they are integrated in a Sanofi medical demo will be the therapy. The affected person will see the investigator, the medical professional and the hospital team who will get treatment of them, but no 1 from Sanofi,” mentioned Dourlens.
However, the treatment method that the sufferers will get – when they acquire a box of medication or vaccine intended to possibly help you save or vastly strengthen their lifetime – will come from Sanofi. It is Dourlens’ team’s job to get the drug to the affected individual on time, no matter what the predicament.
“We have been experimenting with our provide chain for decades, through each the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” claims Dourlens. “We have been however able to keep on to supply pretty much all over the place during the pandemic.”
So, how did managing the COVID-19 medical supply chain evaluate to supporting it just after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
“Many patients have been in a horrible predicament due to the war, but even much more so when anticipating a lifetime-preserving drug that it is not attainable to obtain.”
Sanofi is developing benefit in its patient-centric treatment by wondering about the affected person in these varieties of remarkable conditions, devising methods to defeat predicaments such as war or pandemics.
Part of this is the corporation offering medications to patients’ households, along with a nurse wherever important: “Sometimes a affected person is pretty considerably away from the scientific web page, so a nurse’s check out with the drugs lets much easier obtain to the medical demo.”
This lessens the burden of the trial on the individual, one thing Sanofi is really very pleased to facilitate. But it is the source chain by itself that is liable for building this a lot easier for both of those the nurse and the affected person.
“By lessening the variety of journeys back again and forth to the healthcare facility, we’re supporting health care workers and sufferers. But it is down to the clients to make certain that they are taking their medication on time.”
If we think about worth, we have also to explore a bit about demo design. “When you have a clinical trial, you are ready to influence the trial style to make guaranteed that you limit the hazard of lack and wastage,” describes Dourlens, who, in his purpose, has the job of optimising the capacity in supplying the demo.
The health care sector is conscious that it is relocating into an period the place the value of medication and items is large, thanks to provide chain complexity, in addition to the improvement of medicine. The medical source chain has the skill to affect the way Sanofi performs the trials – something Dourlens’ crew is doing the job on each working day.
“We know that, in the in the vicinity of future, trial structure is going to be more and a lot more complex,” he states. “We will be changing the style and design in the class of the trial, dependent on the benefits it can be what we simply call adaptive demo style and design.”
Sanofi’s provide chain must have the agility and overall flexibility to abide by the modifications it hopes to enact, although there are analytics resources on-hand to enhance efficiency, resilience and sustainability.
“To have an important impact and operate profitable, modern therapies, we must stay away from bottlenecks joined to drug offer and we need to then assurance that the treatment is offered to the patient as promptly as achievable,” suggests Dourlens.
“We’re not obtaining medicines that are identical for most people this is a tailor-manufactured offer chain. I like to say that it’s an haute-couture offer chain. This is exactly where electronic healthcare is actually equipped to deliver the expected stop-to-finish traceability.”
Whichever the output is – interior or external – and whatever the geography amount, electronic is encouraging to make positive Sanofi is monitoring all medications all over the place in the globe, at just about every move of the process.
International price tag optimisation & resilience techniques
Scientific trials are going on in really a complicated landscape, due to the fact every single region has its personal distinct restrictions. Based on the layout of the demo, Dourlens’ group might have different demands to meet up with, this sort of as importation and exportation regulations. The quantity of alterations, from a regulatory point of view, in the throughout the world surroundings is huge.
“To make a extensive tale shorter, regulatory complexity and assorted trial design is a significant problem. Digital health care is a excellent aid in generating absolutely sure that we are in these constraints in the ideal way,” says Dourlens.
From an integration and cost-optimisation viewpoint, electronic healthcare is also vital. Currently, no person is ready to operate a entire supplier clinical demo conclusion-to-conclude with no any companions. Consequently, a easy and effective integration turns into a must.
“When we start out speaking of associates, we commence talking of creating interfaces, and when we talk about interfaces, we communicate about exchanging knowledge. The degree of system integration thanks to electronic advancement is also crucial. If you have a great electronic ecosystem internally, but you really don’t have the good degree of connection with all the gamers that are contributing throughout your worth chain, you are not thoroughly leveraging the efficiency of your digital method,” he suggests.
To complete in the global scientific offer chain, there are some core routines that are component of the inside abilities of Sanofi: optimising the design and style of the demo from a supply standpoint, the logistics setup, packaging style and design, and, in the end, the wants of the individual.
There are, having said that, some other regions where Sanofi depends on associates thanks to their greater expertise and working experience with a assortment of clients. Place simply just, these partners are ready to present companies that are complementary to interior types.
Just one of these integral associates is Fisher Thermo Scientific, with whom Sanofi has labored for a number of many years – nevertheless a partnership devoted to the US market place was only agreed two decades back, which specially focuses on the subcontracting of packaging labelling and distribution actions for specific reports.
“We are relying on them primarily to supply all the things that is manufactured in the US and then dispersed around the world for experiments,” claims Dourlens. “We’re reaching a stage of maturity and interaction among the groups in phrases of development that is really high. Fisher Thermo Scientific has been helping us in our journey to make confident that we supply the drug at the appropriate time – any time – but also, that we are undertaking it at the ideal cost with the proper degree of optimisation.”
Any partnership involves believe in simply because it is a very important component, but for the health care provide chain, it is completely vital.
“In a partnership, practically nothing takes place without the need of have faith in,” states Dourlens. “The 2nd component is to make confident you have a partnership centered on a frequent desire: in a very good partnership, there cannot be somebody who is winning and somebody who is dropping.”
Over the following year at Sanofi, Dourlens hugely expects the entire world to transform once again.
“More than ever, the level of uncertainty we have in the around the world clinical source chain is just extraordinary,” he claims. “The world has modified over the past two years – in the supply chain, in the medical source chain and across the pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Right here, the degree of overall flexibility and agility is essential and to be able to adapt for the provide chain. Still, as the environment has modified, Sanofi has also developed far more resilient – so a lot so that controlling a elaborate offer chain is Dourlens’ 2023 goal.