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Quality transportation of Pharmaceuticals

Background: CEIV Pharma

IATA has a long-standing tradition of working closely with the industry to develop standards that address their needs and ensure regulatory compliance and quality services. The Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) is a globally consistent, recognised and standardised certification for pharma shipments in air freight. This program trains and conducts consistent assessments and validations of organisations against standards and regulations (such as IATA Temperature Control Regulations Manual, National GDPs, WHO). It provides the expertise needed to adequately transport temperature controlled pharmaceutical products across the world and it provides visibility to these organisations that meet the standards as they are registered in the IATA CEIV Pharma “Independent Validator’s Bulletin Board

Trust in the transportation of Pharma

From the very beginning of the program, the way forward was very clear, namely to enhance industry partnership by developing global certified trade lanes with participants certified at origin, destination and in transit. Meeting this objective ensures that facilities, processes, and training of personnel are available on a global scale in a consistent manner. This, in turn, instills trust and more confidence to pharmaceutical manufacturer that their sensitive healthcare products will be handled and transported in impeccable conditions.

The feedback received from the industry is positive. There has been a growing expectation to see compliance, standardisation, accountability and transparency across the supply chain. As a result, CEIV Pharma is expanding globally. Since the launch of the program in 2014, stakeholders across the supply chain have been embarking on the program. They recognise the added value and benefit brought forward by the certified entities such as being recognised by meeting the regulatory requirements as well as the standards in term of operations, appropriate facilities and trained staff.

Supply chain excellence is achieved as a result of applying procedures that are effective, efficient and that meet customer needs. Training is paramount to effective implementation. The training of staff handling sensitive cargo is crucial to ensure that the integrity of the temperature controlled supply chain is maintained. Therefore, training for stakeholders involved is a prerequisite of the IATA Temperature Control Regulations. It is essential that each member of the supply chain understands what the specific requirements for compliance are, as well as those of others in the supply chain. This allows for a greater understanding of the entire supply chain process and smoother process integration. 

The CEIV Pharma certification is conducted on a voluntary basis, therefore IATA will continue to respond to the industry’s demand to becoming CEIV certified. Continuous improvement is also key in such a quality-driven strategy. This is particularly important for keeping the IATA CEIV Pharma standard check-list and associated guidance materials (available in the IATA TCR manual) up-to-date. IATA will continue to work with the supply chain stakeholders to ensure that the program is always aligned with the latest standard and regulatory requirements. In addition, the program has progressed from a single station to a community approach and recently towards a network approach for companies that meet specific requirement.

Today there are 148 stations certified (related to 9 airlines, 105 freight forwarders, 29 ground handlers and 5 road transportation companies) and more than 80 undergoing certification. The efforts made by all these organisations to meet the standards expected is definitely paying off as the air freight pharmaceutical business is growing significantly for these organisations.

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