How GS1 Standardization Benefits Your Pharma Supply Chain?

How GS1 Standardization Benefits Your Pharma Supply Chain?

The global pharmaceutical supply chain is a complex web of interconnected players, each generating and exchanging vast amounts of data. Ensuring the integrity, accuracy, and interoperability of this data is paramount for patient safety, regulatory compliance, and operational efficiency. This is where GS1 standards come into play.

The GS1 Advantage: A Common Language for Your Supply Chain

GS1 is a not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. These standards, built upon a foundation of unique identification and data capture, provide a common language for the exchange of information across the entire supply chain.

In the pharmaceutical industry, GS1 standards play a critical role in:

  1. Product Identification: GS1 standards mandate the use of unique identifiers like the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which encodes essential product information such as the National Drug Code (NDC), serial number, lot number, and expiration date. This ensures that every product can be accurately identified at every step of its journey, from manufacturer to patient. A 2020 study by the European Medicines Verification Organization (EMVO) found that the use of GTINs significantly improved the efficiency and accuracy of product verification processes, reducing the risk of medication errors.
  2. Product Tracing: By leveraging GS1 identification keys and the Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard, companies can capture and share data on key events (shipping, receiving, dispensing) in a standardized format. This enables end-to-end traceability, facilitating rapid response to potential quality issues and ensuring compliance with regulations like the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

Data Accuracy and Interoperability: GS1 standards ensure that data is captured and shared consistently across different systems and organizations. This reduces the risk of errors, simplifies data exchange, and fosters seamless collaboration between supply chain partners. A 2022 survey by GS1 US found that 85% of pharmaceutical companies believe that GS1 standards have improved their supply chain visibility and collaboration.

GS1 Standards in Action

While compliance with regulations like the US DSCSA is a major driver for GS1 adoption, the benefits extend far beyond meeting legal requirements. Pharmaceutical companies that embrace GS1 standards experience tangible improvements in:

  • Supply Chain Efficiency: Standardized data exchange streamlines processes, reduces manual intervention, and minimizes errors, leading to significant cost savings and improved operational efficiency. According to a McKinsey report, companies that have implemented GS1 standards have seen a 10-20% reduction in supply chain costs.
  • Inventory Management: Accurate, real-time visibility into product location and movement allows for optimized inventory levels, reducing the risk of stockouts or overstocking. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that companies with high supply chain visibility have 15% lower inventory costs than those with low visibility.
  • Quality Management: Traceability enabled by GS1 standards allows for rapid identification and isolation of affected products in the event of a quality issue, protecting patients and minimizing the impact of recalls. The FDA estimates that effective traceability can reduce the time it takes to identify and remove recalled products from the market by up to 50%.
  • Counterfeit Prevention: Unique product identifiers and robust traceability make it much more difficult for counterfeit drugs to enter the legitimate supply chain, ensuring patient safety and brand protection. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 10% of medicines in low- and middle-income countries are counterfeit or substandard.
  • Collaboration and Visibility: By providing a common language for data exchange, GS1 standards foster greater collaboration between supply chain partners. This shared visibility leads to improved decision-making, faster response to disruptions, and a more agile and resilient supply chain. A survey by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) found that companies with high levels of supply chain collaboration are 2x more likely to achieve their financial goals.

Supply Chain Wizard: Your Partner in GS1 Implementation

Implementing GS1 standards can be complex, requiring a deep understanding of both the technology and the regulatory landscape. Supply Chain Wizard’s team of seasoned experts has a proven track record of guiding pharmaceutical companies through successful GS1 implementations.

We offer comprehensive services, including:

  • Gap Analysis and Roadmap Development: Assessing your current state of compliance and developing a tailored implementation plan.
  • Technology Selection and Integration: Identifying the right GS1-compliant solutions and ensuring seamless integration with your existing systems.
  • Data Management and Governance: Establishing robust processes for data collection, storage, and exchange to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Change Management and Training: Preparing your workforce for the transition to GS1 standards and providing ongoing support.

GS1 standardization is not just a compliance necessity; it’s a strategic advantage. By adopting GS1 standards, you’re investing in a more efficient, transparent, and secure supply chain that benefits your business, your partners, and ultimately, the patients you serve. Contact Supply Chain Wizard today to explore how we can help you unlock the full potential of GS1 for your pharmaceutical supply chain.

For more information about SCW Consultancy Services;

For additional detail and help with Digital Maturity Assessment, please contact: 

Mia Van Allen – Managing Partner –

error: Content is protected !!