The pharmaceutical Supply Chain: a hard pill to swallow
Counterfeit prescription drugs are increasingly finding their way into the pharmaceutical supply chain in the United States. According to the Food and Drug Administration, American consumers have in the past bought counterfeit Vicodin, Xanax and Adderall, just to name a few. This poses a safety risk as criminals take advantage of lax state laws and inject unsafe and potentially lethal products into the pharmaceutical supply chain. Leaders in both the House and Senate are working together to develop a “track and trace” program which would establish nationwide supply chain standards for prescription drugs. This program would provide electronic records of each instance where a pharmaceutical changed hands within the supply chain. This project would be quite expensive as implementation in California alone is estimated to cost as much as $3.5 billion.
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Sifting out stale suppliers
The newest supply chain factory tragedy in Bangladesh where over 1200 factory workers were killed when the building collapsed, has shed light on the need for better supplier transparency. As a direct response to this disaster, Walmart for example, announced the implementation of a program that increases the number of on-site inspections of suppliers and the company plans on publishing the results. Additionally, apparel suppliers in Bangladesh will be more closely monitored by a group of European retailers who are now legally bound to inspect and audit the factories.
Aside from the individual agreements and promise of more inspections by retailers, new tools have also been introduced to the market to further enhance supplier transparency and improve working conditions for offshore suppliers. One example is called LaborVoices. This tool gives factory workers the opportunity to anonymously report any dangerous or unfair working conditions via phone in the local language.
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Tesco aims to reduce food waste across global supply chain
The retail giant Tesco has been working on improving supplier transparency in recent months after the horse meat scandal hurt the company’s reputation. Now, according to a recent corporate social responsibility report, Tesco will be focusing on the issue of food waste. The company is reported to have suppliers in more than 70 countries and over 6,500 stores. The retailer estimates that 1/3 of its food supply goes to waste. Tesco says that only 1% of the waste is produced at the store level and the real problem lies mostly at the production level. The company plans on publishing waste data by the end of the year in order to become more transparent with regard to the total amount of waste. Tesco is working on developing new ways to track and measure the overall amount of discarded food so proper initiatives can be implemented.
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