New research by McKinsey & Company, conducted with the participation of more than 80 healthcare industry leaders around the world has estimated the benefits and value of adopting global standards in the healthcare supply chain.
Ensuring patient safety and reducing overall costs are challenges facing countries across the world and impacting the entire healthcare supply chain from manufacturers through to wholesalers, distributors, group purchasing organisations and healthcare providers. Counterfeiting, ineffective product recall, medication errors, and complex supply chains are some of the issues creating these challenges.
Additionally, overall healthcare costs are expected to grow faster than national income in most countries; stemming this growth has become a major policy priority with healthcare trading partners looking for ways to reduce and control costs.
A single, global standard for product identification and data exchange is critical in addressing all these issues and ensuring patient safety and lower costs in the healthcare supply chain. The GS1 System of Standards provides an effective globally harmonised and integrated framework to manage supply chain information.
The McKinsey white paper clearly lays out the case for global standards in healthcare with the healthcare industry leaders also endorsing the benefits and value of adopting GS1 Standards in the healthcare supply chain:
‘We (the undersigned) support the adoption of the GS1 System of Standards for Healthcare on a global basis. As GS1 Standards for Healthcare were developed and became available over the last few years, healthcare communities across the globe have embraced them and advanced their implementation. GS1 Standards enable streamlined supply chain processes and improve visibility – from manufacturers to patients.’
GS1 is a not-for-profit, global standards organisation with nearly 40 years’ experience in supply chain optimisation. The GS1 System of Standards now spans more than 20 industry sectors and over a million companies in 150 countries, facilitating more than six billion daily transactions. Global adoption of the GS1 System of Standards will clearly benefit patients and industry stakeholders worldwide.
Since 2004, the US FDA has required the use of a product identifier and bar code on pharmaceutical products sold in the US; the GS1 System is used by many companies to meet this legal requirement. The global initiative underway to standardise unique medical device identifiers (UDI) will also be able to utilise the GS1 Standards. This initiative, involving medical device manufacturers, customers and supply chain partners, as well as governments, primarily aims to enhance patient safety with the added benefit of supporting greater efficiencies in healthcare delivery.
GS1 Global Standards can become the ‘one’ language of choice for supply chain management and electronic commerce in healthcare, improving patient safety and patient compliance, and supporting electronic health records. GS1 Global Standards ensure compatibility and interoperability of supply chain solutions, not only within an organisation but also within a country, region, and across sectors and borders.
GS1 Australia represents the global GS1 organisation in Australia.