Comparator Sourcing in a Global World
Posted: 02/01/2013 12:00:00 AM EST
With globalisation complicating the delivery of clinical trials, having a truly international sourcing company has become essential. Robert Donnell, head of business development at Durbin, talks about the value of global suppliers and the importance of price transparency and ethical partnerships.
It has experience working with many of the top pharmaceutical companies, as well as navigating other local parts of the clinical supply chain. Here, head of business development Robert Donnell explains the importance of quality international sourcing.
R Donnell: The key challenge that we encounter is ensuring that we can meet the sponsors’ requirement for supply while maintaining a low cost base for the sponsor. That’s both what drugs and what documentation they need. Increasingly, as the supply chain gets more complicated, we’re seeing an increase in counterfeit goods
and other hazards.
The challenge we have is establishing secure, reputable supply chains either direct to manufacturers or through audited, approved wholesalers, and being able to get that stock for the sponsor company.
What expertise does Durbin have in solving those challenges, and what advice do you have to help sponsors overcome the challenges?
R Donnell: The last thing a sponsor wants to do is procure a product for a comparator that is either counterfeit or hasn’t been stored properly. What we bring to the marketplace is expertise of what has to be done. We have a network of suppliers across the globe. That network has been established for over 50 years and includes audited, approved wholesalers and suppliers across 110 different countries. They have to meet our standards. And that, combined with relationships with manufacturers and major pharmaceutical companies also allows us to buy direct from manufactures for sponsors willing to divulge trial information.
If you look at some of the biggest growth areas in trials where there isn’t necessarily a comparator used but there are standard care medications used, you see the issue. We could be procuring the same drug for an open label study in 20–30 different countries ranging from Thailand, Korea and the US to Turkey and others.
What any sponsor needs to do is to link in with that specialist provider in a global network, which can deliver them a product from an individual country while assuring quality. They also need to be able to ensure the possibility of securing it in a single batch direct from the manufacturer and then using that bulk purchase in a market or a country where there is price advantage, for instance, using a European drug rather than a US one.
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