One of the key aspects of patient safety is that consumers have access to medicines through pharmacies when they need them. Therefore, one of our goals is to maintain a high level of service at all times – in daily life and during crises.
In the era of globalisation, we must be prepared for exceptional circumstances if pharmaceutical production is interrupted or materials are not available. Nowadays, because of cost pressures, the global production of medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients is concentrated in Asia. A disruption in one part of the chain may jeopardise the availability of medicines.
Risk management related to security of supply is vital
By preparing for exceptional situations and disruptions, we ensure that people can continue to live their lives as safely as possible under all circumstances.
Our selection includes products manufactured by other pharmaceutical companies, as well as our own products for which other companies supply active pharmaceutical ingredients or other ingredients. Because of our extensive product selection, risk management related to security of supply is crucial for us, as any problems in this respect may affect our delivery capability.
We also produce and supply active pharmaceutical ingredients for the global market. In some active pharmaceutical ingredients, we have a significant market share. For example, our global market share for methotrexate, which is produced by Fermion, is more than 30%.
We proactively assess possible risks throughout the value chain and take the necessary measures to mitigate these, so that the availability of products can be ensured at all times. Close and systematic cooperation with our principal suppliers is one of the key elements of risk management. In addition, we minimise the capacity risk related to the distribution of medicines by ensuring the availability of alternative distribution methods.
Critical products must always be available
At the local level, the most critical medicines are antibiotics, strong painkillers and products that are important for public health. These should always be available. In the most serious situations, medicines should be available nearby.
We engage in continuous interaction with the authorities in different countries to ensure that they have accurate information about stock levels, capacity and future needs for changes in production. We also produce some medicines with lower sales and profitability that are critical for patients but do not attract other companies because of their small markets.
In the international purchase and procurement of various products, we compete against major global operators. It is therefore important for us to remain a sufficiently large customer for external suppliers and thereby ensure a well-functioning supply chain. The higher the demand for our products, the larger a customer we are for these suppliers.