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COVID-19 Reshapes Pharma Supply Chain

April 27, 2020
Article Contribution > COVID-19 is Reshaping the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

COVID-19 is Reshaping the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

by Rick Mullin

Contribution by Dr. Michael Quirmbach, Chief Executive Officer & President, CordenPharma

Chemical & Engineering News Magazine – April 27, 2020 / Volume 98, Issue 16

The COVID-19 pandemic did not seriously impede the production and shipment of pharmaceuticals in the first quarter of 2020, although the months ahead will be critical as chemical deliveries slow down and inventories of backup supplies dwindle. What the pandemic has done is wake up regulators and world leaders to the extent to which China dominates the world’s supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients and their chemical raw materials. An ongoing industry effort in the US and Europe to rebalance the pharmaceutical chemical supply chain is likely to be energized by government initiatives to ensure domestic production of drugs.


CordenPharma Caponago (Italy) Injectable Aseptic Fill & Finish Drug Product Line

CordenPharma Caponago’s (Italy) Aseptic Fill & Finish Injectable Drug Product Line is fully-operational during COVID-19.

CordenPharma, a German CDMO that operates a network of plants in the US and Europe, is also managing well, according to CEO Michael Quirmbach. “We have a few disruptions in the supply chain, but not so severe. We have probably seen a little bit more, especially this week,” he told C&EN in early April.

CordenPharma, Quirmbach said, manufactures some of its own raw materials and precursor chemicals and procures some from its German sister company WeylChem—both are owned by the same investment firm, International Chemical Investors Group. “But for large-scale API, we are dependent on supply from China. Also from India,” Quirmbach acknowledged.

“There is increasing demand for certain lipids. And we are also looking at hydroxychloroquine because we used to manufacture it at our CordenPharmaBergamo site. But that was 10 to 15 years ago, and all of these things take some time to restart.”

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