Panalpina embraces GDP certification for pharma handling

In the ongoing debate over the merits of Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification versus IATA’s CEIV-Pharma program, put Swiss forwarder Panalpina firmly in the pro-GDP corner.

The Basel-based forwarder said today that 70 of its facilities are compliant with GDP standards, while 30 of its locations have the official GDP certification, adding that these numbers “are on the increase.” GDP is a standard for proper distribution of therapeutic products, medicinal products and pharmaceutical ingredients offered by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

Players throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain are experiencing growing pressure to gain accreditation for handling the high-value, temperature-sensitive cargo, as having a certification becomes more commonplace, rather than an exceptional feat in the industry.

Through 2017, we have witnessed many carriers and logistics companies like Delta Cargo, Cathay Pacific, All Nippon Airways and Worldwide Flight Services opt for IATA’s CEIV-Pharma certification, a similar program, to HSA’s GDP, which can be thought of as a newer, airfreight-specific version of the HSA’s pre-existing certificate.

While Panalpina did not mention the CEIV-Pharma standard program in its release or say anything disparaging about the IATA program, the announcement could be interpreted as a rejection of IATA’s continued expansion into regulation programs, which are considered more expensive in the industry.

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