During the latest round of negotiations for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership in Chicago last month, U.S. officials unveiled a white paper outlining policies it said would promote trade, make medicine more accessible to lower-income consumers and encourage new research. Critics said the policies were intended to maintain the U.S. market position.
The white paper describes how the United States proposes to work with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam to:
-- Expedite access to new and generic medicines through a “TPP access window.”
-- Enhance legal certainty for manufacturers of generic medicines.
-- Eliminate tariffs on medicines.
-- Reduce customs’ medicine obstacles.
-- Curb trade in counterfeit medicines.
-- Reduce internal barriers to distribution of medicines.
-- Promote transparency and procedural fairness.
-- Minimize unnecessary regulatory barriers.
By 2015, China will be the second-largest market for pharmaceuticals behind only the U.S. and the fifth-largest exporter in the industry, according to a report by IMS Consulting Group, a global advisory and research firm for the health care industry.
DHL Global Forwarding, among others, is taking note of the growing industry and China’s presence in the sector. Last month, DHL bought out Lufthansa Cargo’s half of LifeConEx, a joint venture started in 2005 to provide life sciences companies a cold chain transportation manager with stringent controls for temperature-sensitive products.
LifeConEx integrates the operating standards of the airline, ground handling, packing, technology and freight forwarder service providers to ensure there are no breakdowns in the chain of custody. It covers all transportation modes and shipment sizes for customers involved in pharmaceutical production, biotechnology, vaccines, diagnostics, medical devices, testing laboratories and clinical trial enterprises.
LifeConEx has a better opportunity to increase market share as a full subsidiary of DHL, the two partners said.
Also in September, DHL launched a Life Sciences and Healthcare Competence Center in Beijing — the second of its kind in China. The Chinese life sciences industry was estimated to be worth $75.4 billion in 2010 and is projected to continue to grow rapidly at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent between 2010 and 2015, DHL said. The burgeoning growth of the global life sciences and health care industry is expected to create greater need for cold chain logistics service providers.
American Airlines Cargo has expanded its cold chain service, ExpediteTC, to include a new product for managing cold packaging for pharmaceutical products during transit.
ExpediteTC Passive supports ambient temperature control using cool rooms, expedited handling processes and high-visibility monitoring to ensure cargo is handled within desired temperature ranges. This offering augments American’s current service, ExpediteTC Active, which uses dry ice and battery-powered containers to actively regulate temperature levels, regardless of ambient conditions.
UPS is taking another approach: In September, the giant parcel and package carrier announced it had developed a new cold chain container for health care products. The carrier said its new PharmaPort 360 will enable near real-time monitoring and maintain product temperatures in extreme conditions.
Manufactured by Cool Containers for UPS, the PharmaPort 360 maintains strict temperatures by utilizing heating and cooling storage technology, allowing it to tolerate a significantly wider range of extreme ambient temperature changes. The container more effectively maintains temperatures critical for protecting medicines that need to stay within the required 2 to 8 degrees Celsius to prevent spoilage.
U.S.-flag air carriers now can use Envirotainer’s RKN e1 electrical heating and compressor cooling air cargo container.
The container was first approved by the European Air Safety Agency in June 2005. Although international airlines use it regularly on U.S. routes, the European Union-U.S. bilateral safety agreement is holding up Federal Aviation Administration approval required for U.S.-flag carriers to fly the container.
“The FAA approval of our RKN e1 containers provides more options to the life science and health care manufacturers of temperature-sensitive products,” Envirotainer CEO Niklas Prager said.
Contact Stephanie Nall at firstname.lastname@example.org.