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Forget Your Meds? – There’s an App (or Vending Machine) for That!

What if I told you that one of the most prevalent reasons for an unsuccessful course of drug therapy isn’t due to what’s in the pill bottle, but what’s on the pill bottle? It’s an unopened lid. As a nation we have an epidemic of ‘not taking what we were prescribed in the prescribed dosage.’ And like any epidemic, it has serious consequences.

Every year, prescription medication non-adherence (not taking medication at the right time, dosage, or simply not taking it at all) is responsible for more than 120,000 unnecessary patient deaths and $290 billion in unnecessary healthcare spending each year in the United States.

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Individually Tailored Medicine – One Size Does Not Fit All!

“Medicine sometimes snatches away health, sometimes gives it”

– Ovid, Tristia, Book II

In Tristia the Roman poet Ovid noted a healthcare challenge that is as true in our age as it was in his – medicine can affect different people differently. While they lack the eloquence and poetry of Ovid, every pharmaceutical advertisement says much the same thing, citing both the beneficial and adverse effects that a patient may experience. Most will benefit, some may experience no improvement, and a small percentage may experience an unintended side effect.

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The perfect match: UPS brings CEMELOG into its global healthcare family
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As a part of UPS’s global healthcare growth strategy, UPS announced today that it will acquire Hungarian pharmaceutical logistics company, CEMELOG. Based outside of Budapest, CEMELOG has been offering customers across central and eastern Europe tailor-made healthcare logistics solutions for over a decade, and serves some of the most recognized healthcare brands in the world. The acquisition will further strengthen UPS’s healthcare presence in Europe with regional expertise and services. It also will add three new facilities to UPS’s dedicated global healthcare network, bringing our total number of healthcare facilities to 41.  Watch this video with Bill Hook, VP of global strategy, UPS Healthcare Logistics to learn more:

What Keeps Healthcare Executives Up at Night

Today’s healthcare executive faces the most increasingly complex regulatory environment seen since the enactment of Medicare in 1965.  In addition to federal standards, they must comply with state regulations and the regulations for each country in which their company conducts business. Considering the scope and range of the fast changing healthcare regulatory environment – is it any wonder healthcare executives lose sleep over regulatory compliance?

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EndoChoice & 3 Keys to Growth: People. Products. Logistics. [Video]

One cool thing about working at UPS is the chance to learn about the many different types of companies we serve, and how their supply chains factor into their success.  Healthcare companies are some of the most interesting: they make products that patients’ lives may literally depend on, and their supply chain needs can be quite specialized and complex. It can be pretty radical stuff!

To see what I’m talking about, check out this video profiling UPS customer EndoChoice Inc., “a platform technology company providing devices, diagnostics and procedural support for specialists treating a wide range of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.” Talk about specialization! EndoChoice has been on the Inc. 500 list for the past three years, and CEO Mark Gilreath has some nice insights on how logistics was one key to their rapid growth.

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The Logistics of Saving Lives: Keeping Cool Through a Challenging Delivery (Video)
UPS PharmaPort 360 shipment

The flu season is fast approaching here in North America and the call to stand in line, roll up your sleeve and get your annual flu shot is ringing across UPS – and across the country.  And, yes, I got my shot last week. Glad that’s over with!

Back in April, Walgreens donated more than 375,000 doses of flu vaccine to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), when their flu season was just getting ready to begin. They wanted to make a difference in thousands of lives by bringing good health to a population in need. Walgreen’s faced an enormous logistical challenge to safely transport the vaccines from Louisville, Kentucky, to Southeast Asia.

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Cut to the Chase: 2012 Pain in the (Supply) Chain Survey
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E-mail is a funny thing.  The cadence of my workday is set by it, and I have made a game out of getting things out of my inbox as soon as possible.  I prefer to leave at the end of the day with less than 100 e-mails in my inbox, because I treat it as my to-do list.

A project manager with whom I frequently work (and subsequently send a lot of detailed e-mails to) finally just came right out with it: “I’m a scanner.  If you want me to read something, don’t put a lot of text in it.  Just bullet it out for me.”

So, for all you scanners out there, here’s a high-level look at what we found out from our fifth annual Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey.

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Flu Knew? UPS Ships Vaccines to Laos: Video
Flu vaccination in Laos

I drive by at least two Walgreens pharmacies on the way to work every morning. As you might have seen from the store’s windows and signs, it’s more convenient than ever to swing by and get a flu shot. I was thinking about this when I found out our UPS healthcare experts were at the heart of planning a major logistics feat just last month: shipping 375,000 doses of donated flu vaccines by Walgreens to Laos.

As the U.S. flu season waned in late spring, the flu season for Southeast Asiawill be starting up in a few weeks. Laotians don’t have access to a corner Walgreens, so it was really important to get the vaccines to them safely and securely. And, if you had to check a map like I did to find out the distance from the U.S. to Laos…it’s really far from around the corner!

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UPS Keeps It Cool
UPS PharmaPort 360 shipment

Picture your medicine cabinet at home. Now open it. (If yours is like mine, it could use a lot of organization.)  Have you ever stopped to think about how those medicines and therapies arrived on your shelf? Specifically, I mean the path from how medicines go from manufacturer to being delivered safely to your local pharmacy, or even directly to your family. Well, if you could magically dive into your medicine cabinet and go behind the shelves, you might be surprised to find UPS at the heart of some fascinating and vital healthcare logistics.

Last fall, UPS launched a new air freight container called PharmaPort 360 specially designed for transporting very delicate, temperature-sensitive therapies and medicines like vaccines. A few days ago, UPS’s healthcare team satisfied some of my “behind the cabinet” curiosities and gave me a peak at one of their first logistical feats transporting this new container.

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UPS Delivers Something Chilly to Philly
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In this first full week of fall, UPS rushed in cooler temperatures at the Cold Chain & Temperature Management conference in Philadelphia. (Yes, there’s a forum for everything.) At the conference we unveiled a “cool” new air freight container called PharmaPortTM 360. Picture a pharmaceutical-grade flying refrigerator that safely keeps medicines like vaccines at the right temperature while being shipped. Well, this isn’t your everyday Frigidaire.

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