December 19, 2019 PAO-12-19-CL-001
The more materials that are required for a clinical trial, including the drugs themselves and ancillary supplies — from latex gloves through laboratory equipment and freezers — the more cumbersome the supply chain becomes. Since running a trial requires assembling all of the supplies at the same time, coordinated with the schedules of investigators and trial subjects, a single weak link or failure to deliver one critical element in full and on time can jeopardize the entire trial. To minimize the risks of lost time and money resulting from an inefficient or disrupted clinical trial — not to mention potential health risks to participants/patients, it is crucial that pharmaceutical companies and clinical research centers consolidate their providers as much as possible.
Integrating as many services as possible from a single provider not only streamlines the supply chain and reduces sources of risk, but it also provides an additional layer of organization and oversight to ensure that the right materials are delivered at the right time and in the right sequence. To better support our customers and help ensure that their clinical trials are conducted effectively and efficiently, Yourway has expanded our ancillary supply sourcing offering and better integrated it with our clinical trials packaging and premium courier services to provide new efficiencies and confidence.
Yourway has helped our customers source ancillary supplies for years as part of our comprehensive, integrated suite of clinical trial supply chain solutions. However, through discussions with our customers, we perceived a growing unmet need in the marketplace, to not only source the ancillary supplies but to coordinate their delivery with the experimental and comparator drugs, and to deliver them to the clinical trials sites through a premium courier service. In keeping with our commitment to expand our offering to provide whatever solutions our customers need, we recently established a dedicated team focused on the purchasing, procurement, management, delivery, reclamation, and recalibration of ancillary supplies worldwide.
Ancillary supplies include all materials required to conduct a clinical trial beyond the experimental drug and the comparator drug, if relevant. These materials include simple medical supplies, such as syringes, swabs, surgical knives, gloves, diluents and any other item that the patient and medical practitioner need to administer the drug and evaluate the safety and efficacy parameters under investigation.
Equipment and medical devices — including medical devices, diagnostic and testing equipment, centrifuges and temperature-control equipment, including water baths and freezers — also fall under the ancillary materials umbrella. This wide range of equipment has to be delivered to the trial site and then picked up once the trial is complete, in keeping with the requirements of the Sunshine Act, which mandates that equipment greater than $25 in value cannot remain at the trial site after completion of the trial. Standalone ancillary supply firms ship expensive equipment via a conventional courier, but pharma companies are looking for a white glove service, where sensitive equipment is not just dropped at the front door, but where a trusted provider delivers all materials and equipment and places everything in the right location at the site. Accessing ancillary supplies through an integrated clinical trials provider like Yourway, with our premium courier services, ensures that sensitive equipment is handled and delivered properly into the trials site. With our extensive warehousing capabilities, we can reclaim equipment and other ancillary supplies immediately upon completion of a trial and store it until it has been sanitized and calibrated for reclamation and repurposing by the company.
Through the expansion of our ancillary materials offering, we are able to go beyond demands for basic supplies and provide sizable clinical and laboratory equipment and devices, both of which are in high demand. We are able to service trials that are significant or niche, regardless of trial size, location or treatment constraints. With an integrated network of depots in North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, and across Asia, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, we have access to storage facilities around the world for the transport of this ancillary equipment. Regardless of what phase this equipment is in, whether it’s being calibrated or sanitized for reclamation and repurposing, or where it is, we have a place for it.
The list of ancillary materials needed in trials is extensive, especially as the treatments in trials grow more time-sensitive and involve more stringent conditions for storage and handling, as is the case with cell and gene therapies. Cutting edge therapies that are becoming accessible for the first time, coupled with patient expectations of convenience and ease-of-use, are transforming how trials are conducted. Research and pharma companies must evolve to meet these demands, though the challenges of doing so without a reliable partner are ten-fold.
Yourway already has a reputation in the industry as a leading integrated premium courier and clinical packaging service provider — by adding on more diverse and robust ancillary services, we are extending our clinical trials offering to better serve the market. We plan on leveraging our experience working in clinical trials and our existing relationships in the industry to offer our customers premium ancillary sourcing.
The logistics space is changing, in part because of our company-wide efforts to go above and beyond. Our customers expect more than just delivery — we are a trustworthy and well-informed partner that can be called on for advice in a space that is notoriously difficult to navigate. We consistently make sure all materials and the necessary supporting equipment are exactly where they belong, at the right location, at the right site. We understand how sensitive these trial materials are, and treat every shipment as an extension of our business, doing whatever it takes to make sure that clinical and ancillary trial materials are stored and delivered without issue and in a timely manner — whether that means charting a private jet or pushing for treatments to be delivered directly to the patients that need them. We make sure trials go as smoothly door-to-door as they do at a predetermined site.
Our longstanding global and domestic industry relationships serve as a support network for our expansion into ancillary services and allow us access to these clinical trial supplies at the most cost-effective prices possible. Additionally, because we are the only truly integrated clinical packager and premium courier, we provide service faster than what our clients have traditionally come to expect, which allows trials to begin more rapidly. We rely on our team, including our highly skilled program managers, to ensure that the studies we help facilitate take place more efficiently without compromising quality.
By integrating clinical packaging with courier services and now expanding our ancillary materials service offering, we are able to provide outstanding and integrated service. Considering the uncertainties and rapid developments taking place constantly within the clinical trial space, a reliable and experienced provider can mean the difference between a trial that is a success or a failure, which can determine whether or not a drug makes it to the market and into the hands of the patients who need it.
Fiona has been with Yourway since 2015. As Vice President of Client Services, she has wide-ranging responsibility for aligning people and systems across the organization to keep projects moving forward and advance corporate objectives. Fiona also leads a number of strategic growth efforts to expand Yourway’s customer base and increase capacity utilization.