Solutions to Facilitate Ease in Distribution of CAR T-Cell Therapies

Pharmacy Times interviewed Joel Wayment, vice president of operations for 3PL Services at Cardinal Health, on some of the logistical challenges in the transport of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy products.

Question: How does the pharmaceutical supply chain currently manage the transport of CAR T products to administration sites?

Joel Wayment: Yeah, these products are incredibly sensitive, and so it takes a lot of unique solutions to make sure that you’re transporting these products in the correct fashion. You can’t use just your standard commercial carrier to move these products, and so these CAR T-cell products are really transported with specialized doers that can hold the temperature at the minus 115 degrees Celsius or lower, and they also can maintain that temperature for multiple days. Generally speaking, these are done through couriers versus utilizing your commercial carriers today.

Question: What are some of the logistical challenges of this current distribution process for CAR T products within the supply chain?

Joel Wayment: Some of the challenges to making the logistics work for these CAR T products today in the supply chain is really around making sure that these CAR T therapies are getting to the administration sites at the same time that the patient who needs them is. Just given the challenges that some sites have in being able to maintain the storage temperature of these products for long durations, making sure that you’ve got patient and product matching up at the same time is a challenge that’s facing the industry today.

Question: What are some potential solutions to the logistical challenges of the current distribution process for CAR T products?

Joel Wayment: Really, it’s about making sure that all the different partners, as part of the supply chain, are talking together, making sure that you understand where the patient is, if the patient is ready for treatment, so that you can then trigger the shipment. and the transport of these CAR T therapies and making sure that both the patient side of the services, as well as the product side of the services, are uniquely connected to make sure that they’re arriving at the same time.

Question: What is the potential impact of these distribution solutions, if effective?

Joel Wayment: The impact of these solutions is making sure that ultimately the patient gets the treatment when they need it, and that you don’t have risk [of] the product being spoiled or something happening to it in transit. These are expensive therapies, and so getting it right the first time is critical and the solutions that are out there today is that they continue to evolve to ensure that happens.

Question: What is your outlook on the future of this space?

Joel Wayment: The future of CAR T therapies and gene therapies is going to continue to grow as companies continue to look for solutions to meet some of these unmet challenges for patients. It’s an exciting time for our industry, and it’s exciting to see the evolution and how things continue to progress, and we expect this to continue to grow and continue to evolve over time.

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