Published OnMarch 27, 2017Pharmaceutical companies have three big concerns when it comes to fulfillment: efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance.Iron Mountain Fulfillment Services
Pharmaceutical companies are among the most heavily regulated of all businesses. Close scrutiny is given not just to product manufacturing and distribution, but to every piece of literature provided to physicians, hospitals and consumers, as well. In this environment, where out-of-date or inaccurate materials can result in enormous fines and penalties, it pays to work with a fulfillment services provider with specific expertise in pharma compliance.
“Your provider can be a real ally in keeping you compliant,” says Karen Lukose, a customer development executive at Iron Mountain Fulfillment Services. “In addition to basic pick-and-pack, Iron Mountain can save pharma companies time and money with tasks like literature reworking.”
For example, it’s common for pharma companies to attach or enclose package inserts (PIs) with sales literature they distribute to physicians.
“If dosage, prescribing information, expiration dates, or other information in the PI changes, companies may think they have to send the existing pieces back to their printer to remove the old PIs and attach updated ones,” Karen says. “But Iron Mountain can do that at our distribution centers, saving the client time and money.
“We have all the supplies needed to do the job quickly and neatly, from the right type of glue dots to packaging and finishing materials, like shrinkwrap, poly bags, and chipboard. Our digital printing capabilities also enable us to print labels and add disclaimer statements on reprints, or to produce letters that can be stapled to the literature.”
Turnaround times depend on quantities, she continues. “But a standard project will normally be reworked and ready for ordering within three days. If the project is very large, we will make sure to rework enough material to make the item orderable, and then continue working on the project and receiving the finished products back into stock as we go.”
Iron Mountain’s online ordering and inventory management system also offers capabilities that pharma clients find especially helpful, she notes. These include:
- The ability to set expiration dates for PIs and other literature, so that they’re automatically removed from view when that date is reached and replacement documents are automatically turned on.
- Permissions-based access so that reps can only see materials for drugs they’re allowed to sell.
- A disclosure tool that automatically inserts disclaimers, footnotes and other required wording for specified documents when they are ordered for digital printing.
- Dynamic database capabilities that enable clients to map, track and update relationships between documents and products, including those not produced, stored or distributed by Iron Mountain.
“In general, pharmaceutical companies have three big concerns when it comes to fulfillment: cost, careful attention to their needs, and compliance,” Karen concludes. “Iron Mountain has been in this business for close to five decades, and we work with many highly regulated businesses, especially pharmaceuticals. We know how to deliver what our clients need, quickly and cost-effectively.”