Most of us are concerned about our safety and security. We take extra steps to keep ourselves and our families safe at our pharmaceutical logistic facilities.
When selecting a pharmaceutical logistics services provider, safety and security take on added importance. Patient health depends on the consistent movement of medications within the supply chain. Government and other authorities require pharmaceutical logistics services providers to operate during normal and extraordinary situations including disasters and emergencies.
First, ask about the security of the facility exterior. It should deter unwanted traffic and protect people and products inside. Does the facility have well-maintained perimeter fencing, for example? Is lighting strategically placed to illuminate the property even during late-night hours? It’s common sense, but ask whether the building has a working intrusion alarm system with a direct connection to law enforcement. If criminals bypass doors, windows should have glass-break detection systems installed to foil break-in attempts. In locations with severe weather, buildings made of concrete walls and roof provide added protection.
Second, inquire about security measures inside the building. Valuable inventory should be protected by an advanced fire suppression system to minimize potential damage. Multiple high-resolution cameras should record activity throughout the building interior and store archived files for future reference. Access control programs create a database of all incoming and outgoing employees and visitors as they move throughout the building.
Third, security at 3PL companies relies on the qualifications of each employee. That is the reason reputable logistics services providers require mandatory pre-employment screening including comprehensive criminal background checks, drug testing and confirmation of employment eligibility.
Data and Information Flow
Finally, make sure to learn how sensitive data and information is transmitted, stored and protected to assure secure access to files. Details about clients, products, trading partners and order activity are safeguarded in many ways. For example, at WDSrx, backup files are created every two hours and at the end of each business day. In addition, separate back-up copies are stored at an off-site facility and archived for 30 days.
Product details and all order activity maintained in our WMS or Warehouse Management System are duplicated and stored in a separate virtual server. Client records are maintained for at least three years. Antivirus and cybersecurity software protects all data from hackers and computer viruses. And data files and software dashboards are only accessible by a limited number of qualified individuals on our management team
Reputable pharmaceutical 3PL companies prioritize safety and security of people, products, property and data during periods of regular operations. But equally important are safeguards that are implemented in case of natural disaster and other emergency situations.
Although emergency situations are rare, government and other regulatory authorities require pharmaceutical 3PL companies to implement a current Disaster Recovery Plan. The Disaster Recovery Plan is part of a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan. The Plan provides instructions that make it possible for 3PL companies to maintain operations and continue to move medications within the supply chain during periods of business disruption. For example, when power is lost, WDSrx facilities maintain operations with redundant power supplied by on-site and portable generators. This alternative power source can maintain full operations of all systems for several days.
Contingency plans also include options for employees to work remotely with access to real-time data to maintain service. Emergency contact lists are maintained to assure employees are safe and to assist in communications. When information about adverse weather conditions is known in advance, disaster procedures specify that vendors are contacted to assure advance delivery of sufficient materials to conduct operations for the duration of the event.
Safety and security are priorities for pharmaceutical logistic facilities and services providers that dedicate their operations to delivering treatments to patients. Advance planning for potential disaster situations helps assure that people, products, property and data are protected and able to function during normal operations and during adverse and emergency situations.