Building resilience in the life sciences supply chain

Trade & Manufacturing

On a recent event for the Global Counsel network, Daniel Capparelli, Practice Lead, Trade; Tom Smith, Practice Lead, Health and Elly Darkin, Associate, discussed key challenges facing the life sciences supply chain, and how resilient has it proven so far.

It was an informative dialogue, with some key takeaways:

  • Building resilience through trade policy: what role does trade policy have to play in building supply chain resilience? The panellists noted that resilience refers to the ability of supply chains to spikes respond in demand, as well as withstand external shocks that disrupt supply. Diversity and flexibility were discussed as core components of a resilience strategy from a trade perspective.
  • The domestic policy landscape: what national health policy interventions are on the horizon? Various policy leavers were explored from improving good distribution practice to incentivising due diligence to a European Health Union. It was noted that none of these policies are pain-free in terms of additional cost.
  • The impact on business: how will these policy interventions crystalise in terms of cost for businesses? Panellists debated whether redundancies and inefficiencies were an inevitable consequence of greater resilience. A distinction was drawn between long-term and short-term additional costs. The idea of designing policy mitigants to counter inefficiencies cause by resilience strategies was floated.
  • Engaging with policymakers: how can businesses contribute to and shape this ongoing policy debate? Panellists offered practical advice to corporates, including being candid about the costs of resilience strategies, challenging short-termism, and helping policymakers to diagnose problems correctly through their own due diligence.

You can watch the full event below.


The views expressed in this note can be attributed to the named author(s) only.