How Technology Is Delivering Better Operational Efficiencies Within the Pharmaceutical Industry – Part 3

Published by Vanesia Adkins, 12/13/2020

This is the final part of a three-part series focusing on tech that can help drive efficiency, assist with compliance, and reduce risk in the pharmaceutical industry.  In part one, we talked about IoT in the industry and when manufacturing products.  In part two, we discussed quality and consistency. For full access to previous post visit our blog page at

By now, you understand several ways IoT can help drive better operational efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry, providing many benefits to companies, from improved warehouse management to better documentation to quality assurance. In this third part, we discuss how technology helps these businesses reduce risk, which aids in compliance. Here are three ways you can reduce risk thanks to IoT in the pharmaceutical industry.

The IoT Reduces Product Loss

We touched on this a little bit in part 2 when we discussed how IoT could help you maintain compliance and quality from manufacturing to transportation, and we promised to discuss it in a little more detail in part 3.

Thanks to technology in this field, pharma companies can now know where their product is at all times and ensure on-time delivery for their customers. Customers and consignees can receive updates and monitoring capabilities based on permissions, which significantly cuts down on delays and ensures visibility through transport at all times.

This level of visibility means that if something does go wrong, it can swiftly be corrected. If a truck breaks down carrying sensitive pharmaceutical products, dispatch can be notified immediately of an issue or temperature excursion, allowing the driver to make immediate corrections. When significant issues occur, the dispatch or logistics company can send a repair team out at once. Many IoT solutions can also diagnose a future problem giving the technical team the ability to complete needed maintenance, avoiding any issues during transit. These IoT tools result in faster response times and mitigate product is lost.

The IoT Reduces Chance of Theft

Tracking technology can notify you of deliveries – it can also inform you when a delivery goes off course. If a driver takes an unusual or abnormal route, stops suddenly, is involved in an accident, or there is a similar issue, both dispatch and the customer are notified of the possible unplanned excursion.  Through this technology, we can also monitor when a shipping container is opened prematurely.

These real-time updates mean a company can swiftly act by contacting the proper authorities, letting them know precisely where the truck and product is. Before this type of technology, companies would have to wait until the shipment failed to deliver, and the hope of recovery was slim-to-none. Now we can know exactly when something goes wrong and where the delivery is at all times, protecting the product, driver, and your customer.

In some instances, the knowledge that this technology is being deployed can reduce the chance of the product being stolen.

The IoT Reduces Potential Counterfeiting

IoT also helps pharmaceutical companies to ward off potential counterfeiting. Counterfeiting is, no doubt, a serious issue within the industry – between $75 billion and $200 billion worth of counterfeit drugs are sold every year. These drugs put consumers in danger if they take an ill-made product, therefore also putting your customer at risk if their name is on the packaging. The proper technology can help ensure you minimize risk.

RFID, which we mentioned in part one, often helps with inventory tracking within a warehouse. However, this techology is also used to reduce counterfeiting among your distributors. Pfizer, for example, used this tagging for tracking all its Viagra bottles. Allowing distributors to verify the product’s authenticity, giving Pfizer more control over their product and patient safety.

Other examples of technology used for tracking include unique QR codes, digital tags with an individualized software component, and distinctive signatures and surfaces. Using blockchain, these IoT tools, known as “smart tags,” work as unique cryptographic identifiers for you and your customers that are difficult to replicate. Even if the smart tag was stolen, a quick second look at the blockchain and supply chain could help determine whether a product is genuine. If you use them early in the manufacturing process, the smart tags can be a difference-maker for every step in your supply chain and give you the data you need to improve the process.

There is no doubt that IoT is a game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry. Whether it’s helping with quality control, inventory management, or compliance and risk, this technology is quickly advancing to help pharma companies better protect their products, consumers, and brands. It’s exciting to see what the next ten years of advances will bring to the table.

We are here to help you make the most of IoT in the pharmaceutical supply chain, especially when it comes to transportation.  If you’re curious about how we can assist with your cold chain needs, please visit our website For inquiries and questions, contact us at [email protected].