A trusted supply chain for MSD Australia
Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia, with the Cancer Council reporting that one in two Australians will be diagnosed with the disease by age 85. As the population grows, people live longer and overall cancer rates increase, sadly the disease – estimated to be diagnosed in 165,000 people at present* – is likely to touch all Australians in some way.
Linfox Consumer and Healthcare Group (C&HG) has implemented a new logistics solution for pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) Australia to manage warehousing and transport for its lifechanging Keytruda cancer medication.
“Our MSD Keytruda solution is now live and operational, after a seamless implementation and onboarding,” said General Manager Healthcare Linfox, Andrew Mitchell.
“This leverages Linfox’s temperature-controlled warehousing and distribution expertise in line with best practice pharmaceutical industry guidelines.
“We work with our Linfox Intermodal counterparts and logistics partner Mediport to distribute Keytruda both locally and interstate, under strict cold chain conditions, bound for major pharmaceutical wholesalers, local pharmacies and hospitals,” explained Andrew.
Keytruda is a cutting-edge prescription drug used to treat several types of cancer. A form of immunotherapy that helps prevent cancer cells from hiding, it assists the immune system do what it was meant to do: detect and fight cancer cells. The drug is transforming lives for thousands of patients diagnosed with a number of different cancers.
Listed on Australia’s national Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), Keytruda is available to many patients facing a disease which doesn’t discriminate.
“The logistics task must therefore ensure accessible, reliable and compliant medication supply to meet the needs of MSD, its customers and patients, regardless of location, within strict time and cold chain temperature requirements,” said Andrew.
“This is where Linfox can apply our cold chain pharmaceutical expertise to help make a difference and improve health outcomes for Australians,” he said.
Healthcare logistics: Why Linfox?
“Linfox is known for our ability to onboard new customers and implement solutions with minimal operational impact, a challenging task in the healthcare industry given regulatory obligations,” said Andrew.
Linfox and its customers are committed to those highly stringent, industry-renowned standards: “Our strength is in safe, secure and compliant temperature controlled storage, packaging, quality assurance, process and procedures,” he explained.
The Linfox Healthcare Quality team and MSD worked proactively ahead of go-live, with careful planning and continuous improvement workshops. Shared communication lines were open from the start, with constructive conversations between senior executives and key operational team members on both sides.
This helped to plan and deliver a trusted path to market for MSD and the people who need their medication.
Trusted for healthcare quality and compliance
Linfox maintains strict compliance with government, industry and customer requirements with the following certifications:
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP): Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) licence for secondary packaging, release for supply and storage (MI-2013- LI 10546-1)
- Good Warehousing Practice (GWP): NSW Health Licence to Supply Wholesale Poisons and/ or Restricted Substances for Therapeutic Use
- ISO 9001: Quality Management System.
* https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/contents/overview-of-cancer-in-australia-2023, accessed 10 November, 2023.
Linfox a key moving part of ResMed supply chain
The world’s first continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device was developed in 1981 at the University of Sydney.
After further investment and prototype development for this ingenious Australian invention, ResMed was established in Australia in 1989, set to produce medical equipment that would transform the lives of millions across the globe.
Today, the now US-based medical equipment company provides CPAP machines, masks, and in-home life support ventilators to help people with sleep apnoea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other chronic respiratory diseases improve their breathing.
Building on a partnership of almost two decades, Linfox C&HG has quickly scaled up ResMed’s warehouse and transport services in response to significant increases in global demand.
“Linfox manages the logistics for more than 400 SKUs of ResMed’s raw materials in our western Sydney healthcare facility, bound for their Bella Vista, NSW manufacturing site,” explained Andrew.
“This ensures a consistent and reliable supply pipeline for their products in Australia.”
Linfox grew ResMed’s warehouse management solution six-fold, supported by local Linfox transport services to its manufacturing facility.
“Available warehouse space is tight in Sydney, so Linfox’s ability to accommodate growing demand solved a supply chain challenge in a key location, supported by our first-class healthcare logistics,” said Andrew.
ResMed’s equipment is a game changer and potential lifesaver for many. It supports improved sleep quality, which in turn helps reduce associated health risks such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
“We are also proud to play our part to help Australians access medical devices and equipment that not only changes their day-to-day quality of life, but helps reduce the burden of chronic disease on the individual, their families, communities, and the broader nation,” he said.