Sustainable Supply Chains
Across the globe, two billion people do not have access to medicines. At least half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services and 100 million people are pushed to poverty due to health expenses. Low- and middle-income countries are the most affected, requiring major interventions to overcome health access barriers.
Access to care for patients in low- and middle-income countries with developing health systems is particularly challenging, especially for those at the base of the global economic pyramid. Establishing a robust supply chain is critical to ensure safe, effective, and continuous health-care-delivery.
We work collaboratively with our international and local partners to improve access to medicines globally. I am particularly proud that our in-house expertise is contributing to address the challenges in supply chain in low- and middle-income countries so as to ensure that high-quality medicines sustainably reach patients in need.
In our Company, we work to achieve progress for mankind and to contribute to health for all.
We are committed to address supply chain barriers, from the first mile supply challenges associated with manufacturing, storage and distribution of the medicines, to the last mile difficulties to deliver high quality medicines to patients in remote locations.
We engage in capacity building activities by working with international and local partners for training throughout and across the supply chain. Through our supply chain work, we strengthen and optimize the delivery of medicines to patients.
Our approach to sustainable supply chains is based on cross-cutting principles: to ensure quality and safety of our medicines during production and delivery, to integrate process steps for improving efficiency and time delivery, to implement measures including trainings to local partners on best practices.
We believe that innovation and partnerships are important elements to tackle current supply chain challenges.
In low- and middle-income countries, we prioritize our efforts by implementing capacity building initiatives that address the critical challenge of ensuring product reach for patients. We engage non-profit organizations and local distributors to improve order fulfillment, rate for quality material, turnaround time.
Our Global Health unit, together with Global Healthcare Operations, drives these collaborative efforts in line with its mission to improve access to health for the underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries.
Health Supply Chain Management in East Africa Community (EAC)
Partner States of the EAC face a variety of challenges in their distribution channels, including forecasting, inventory management, counterfeit prevention, data management, and cold chains for vaccines and other health commodities.
We partnered with the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunization and Health Supply Chain Management (EAC RCE-VIHSCM) housed at the University of Rwanda to build a professional supply chain curriculum based on in-house expertise and materials. Through a ‘train the trainers’ model, we aim to transfer expert know-how and build capability locally towards solid and well-functioning supply chain mechanisms and enhanced health services in and for Africa.
ACCESS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Created as a volunteer pool of supply chain experts from our company, the Access Mentorship Program structures and organizes sharing of knowledge and experience with local supply chain experts in Africa. Virtual trainings and projects tackle various domains of expertise, including demand and supply planning, inventory management, purchasing practices, warehouse and storage management, bar coding, quality control and standards, customer service and importation processes.
We collaborate with Business for Health Solutions (BHS), a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase healthcare access for communities in Africa by building the capacity of local healthcare enterprises. BHS connects teams of volunteer experts from us to distributors and healthcare service providers and facilitates remote technical assistance projects to help address their supply and logistics challenges. The program was piloted in Tanzania and achieved some tangible successes in several key performance indicators. With the support of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, it is expanding to other low- and middle-income countries, including Ghana.
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Our Impact – Partnership in Tanzania
order fulfillment rate by the local distributor, vs 82% prior
days max. delivery of out of stock medicines to regional hospitals, vs 10 days prior
rejection rate of raw materials for drug manufacturing, vs 10% prior
By volunteering just one hour per week, supply chain experts from our company can help to address supply chain capacity gaps, reducing some of the biggest barriers to access to healthcare. Our experts share their skills and knowledge with African counterparts, developing insights and leadership competencies in the process.
Who are our champions?
Didier Dayen is part of the Supply Network Operations of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Healthcare. Leading the Center of Expertise team, which is responsible for the planning and execution processes, he also serves as the embedded Access Ambassador in the Global Healthcare Operations. He joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, 28 years ago and held various Supply Chain positions at regional and global levels, both on processes & tools implementation as well as in operational roles.
Chrys Herrera leads the Access to Health team in Global Health, which is responsible for using the shared value approach to increase access to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany health solutions in low- and middle-income countries. He joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2015 and has moved across medical and government affairs roles for country, regional, and global assignments. Prior to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Chrys worked for the UPecon - Health Policy Development Program, a USAID project supporting the implementation of universal health care in the Philippines.
Global Supply Chain
In times of Covid-19, our exceptional effort has kept our manufacturing sites & supply network fully operational throughout the pandemic, ensuring a seamless supply of our therapies to patients in need.