As a new and dynamic initiative, we receive many questions about GDP-UCI. We feature some of the more common ones below.
Q. We're already on top of our GDP responsibilities. Why should we sign up to GDP-UC!?A. The phrase “the end is nothing, the road is all” is particularly apposite to GDP since the journey is more important than the destination (which is always out of sight and shifting). Continuous learning and improvement are cornerstones of the GDP-UCI philosophy, so if you consider yourself a paragon of GDP then you should strongly consider contributing to the common good by sharing your expertise with the GDP-UCI community. Q. I operate as a sole trader providing consultancy and training services to the pharma supply chain. Can I join GDP-UCI?A. Yes, indeed. Small, hands-on operations are very welcome in GDP-UCI. Amongst these smaller concerns are many very-experienced professionals and independent RPs that work continuously across numerous large pharma, distribution and logistics companies. In doing so they amass, over time, an enormous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience and we are keen to tap into this accumulated, sharp-end wisdom. Q. Do we have to collaborate with our competition? Can't we just continue developing our supply chains in glorious isolation? A. If this is what you want then go right ahead. Smart operators, however have realised that supply chain maturity is characterised by teamwork and integration. Only by coming together can ingrained malpractices and entrenched attitudes be addressed in a timely and consistent manner. Good GDP and better quality is not about generating mountains of paperwork and following rote checklists. Sustainable pharma distribution needs common, simplified processes on the basis that “any darn fool can make something bigger and more complicated but it takes genius to make it simple”. An 'every man for himself' supply chain mentality will never lead to the step changes in culture that the industry so badly needs if it is to keep up with market expectations, regulatory expansion, and technological change.Q. When it comes to GDP we find it difficult to gain understanding and buy-in from many others in the supply chain who seem reluctant to change. How will GDP-UCI address this inbred inertia?A. One of the first goals of GDP-UCI is to start changing the industry’s siloed mind-set. Only through better education and more integrated supply chains can deep-rooted, counter-productive practices be overcome.This is partly a reflection of the fact thatmany organisations have very inward facing corporate cultures. Furthermore, the individuals involved are only able to properly manage a limited number of conflicting work patterns simultaneously, For example, consider a logistics provider working with, say, eight different pharma shippers each with different needs, goals and partners, each of which distributes in a dozen or more different countries and each of which has a different understanding of what GDP is about and how to execute it competently. The resulting confusion and disorder that results from being pulled in different directions is a guarantee of hugely sub-optimal outcomes together with an ever-present risk of more serious failure. GDP-UCI, on the other hand, will encourage more open relationships amongst supply chain actors to allow them to operate with greater certainty, predictability and consistency.Q. I am a supplier. Won't we be giving away our competitive advantage by joining GDP-UCI?A. No. Quite the reverse. You will be gaining a huge competitive advantage. As a member of GDP-UCI you will be associated with quality outcomes and best practice and this will distance you from low-grade, corner-cutting competition. Working alongside like-minded companies will help put your company in the frame for long-term strategic partnerships with progressive, quality-focused clients.Q. How do you see GDP-UCI developing on a global basis?A. The GDP-UCI collaborative concept needs to work on an international basis due to the geographic realities of pharmaceutical production and consumption. The scale of this task necessitates the continuous leverage of all the contacts and networks of existing GDP-UCI members’. For this reason GDP-UCI participants are encouraged to use all means at their disposal to promote the program and a range of marketing support materials is being generated for this purpose.Q. We are a WDA holder with legal responsibility for a number of regulated human medicines. How can GDP-UCI assist us with managing our outsourced distribution channels?A. Since it is not possible for licencees to completely relinquish their GDP obligations by transferring responsibilities to their logistics partners, the satisfactory management of supply chain GDP is contingent on the provision of suitable support to suppliers. By encouraging your outsourced partners to join the GDP-UCI program they will be part of a unique community providing them with direct access to ideas, innovations and resources relating to good distribution practice. Indeed, membership of GDP-UCI will provide your supply chain partners with many benefits and could form part of your pre-qualification process for new service providers. Q. Isn't there a risk that GDP-UCI will result in reduced competition?A. Not at all. GDP-UCIis 100% inclusive and open to any stakeholder in the pharma logistics supply chain. It is absolutely not a 'private-members club' a 'closed-shop' or a 'secret society'. GDP-UCI is democratically governed as well as being supervised by a completely independent neutral trustee. The neutral trustee is a special purpose legal entity with, inter alia, full responsibility for ensuring full compliance with competition/anti-trust legislation. Rather that reduce competition in any way, GDP-UCI stimulates competition and choice by raising the quality stakes – a strong and necessary factor in competitive differentiation. Q. How is GDP-UCI different to other pharma-focused industry groups?A. GDP-UCI is unlike any other industry grouping for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is completely independent and self-governing. Secondly it is industry-wide and global in scope covering all regulated GDP activities, all transport modes and all types and size of company. Thirdly, it is premised on improving patient safety through a unique operating model built around mutuality, shared vision, common goals and recognised best-practices. Q. Why is GDP-UCI funded by subscription and not some other financial model? A. It all comes back to the need for complete independence and impartiality. GDP-UCI’s status as a social enterprise would be hopelessly compromised were it to be funded or subsidised by a vested interest party or parties (including governmental). However, it is planned to develop subsidiary income streams from other sources over time in order to supplement subscription revenues, to finance projects and to keep inflationary pressures under control. Q. Does GDP-UCI have any plans to team-up with any other bodies to increase its reach?A. Where there is a mutuality of interests and little or no overlap we do indeed want to enter win-win partnerships with suitable organisations wherever possible. GDP-UCI has no intention of reinventing wheels or duplicating good effort and will seek to identify and align with existing best practices. However, the choice of partners is cruciallyimportant to ensure that GDP-UCI maintains its independence from any factional or monopolised organisations. And it is important that GDP-UCI’s specific remit of reforming GDP compliance is not allowed to become lost in the 'noise' of alternative agendas.
Good Distribution PracticeUniversal Compliance Initiative