Ensuring supply continuity of critical goods despite abrupt product registration changes

by | Mar 7, 2023

Early in 2022, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) made sudden changes to its Medicines Registry and importation regulations, impacting orders for health products already placed by the country. The measure further tightens controls on the registration of pharmaceutical products and medical devices entering the country from abroad.

PFSCM Logistics Specialist Valentin Jehan explains that additions and omissions were made to the registry requiring suppliers to register their products before they can be consumed in the country. This authorization can be a lengthy and expensive process, and not all suppliers may find it beneficial to register specific products.

When the changes were implemented, PFSCM worked closely with the donor, recipients in the DRC, and suppliers to prevent orders for unregistered products that were already placed from being canceled.

In particular, PFSCM facilitated discussions for the acceptance of unregistered syringes worth more than $100,000.

Jehan explains that the orders for the syringes were already placed, and canceling the order owing to the new registration requirements could have impacted negatively on health services in the country. He adds that abrupt changes or unnecessary cancellations also impact the upstream supply chain, affect supplier relations, and at its worse, can result in the wasteful destruction of products.

Jehan says this scenario shows the importance of effective supply chain oversight, collaboration, and proactive engagement among supply chain stakeholders. “Quick responses and willingness to engage in discussions help stakeholders to better empathize with each other and give us all opportunities to learn and improve supply chain visibility.”

Meanwhile, PFSCM is supportive of the tightened regulations and controls. “For us, too, the safety of the patients is the priority. In that regard, we continue to work closely with stakeholders to ensure we have a sound and diverse supplier base.”