Thursday, July 8, 2010

Global Healthcare Supply Chains and Good Job News

I have been writing in this blog about our latest research on supply chain network design for critical needs products from vaccines to medicines and on hospital supply chains.

I was delighted to read in the Boston Globe that Sanofi-Aventis, one of the world's largest drug makers, is expanding its operations in Massachusetts and that this will mean more jobs -- jobs of importance and meaning.

According to the article: Sanofi-Aventis SA, is planning a $65 million expansion in Cambridge that will create about 300 jobs, making it the latest foreign pharmaceutical giant to invest in Massachusetts. The Paris-based drug maker is in the process of leasing space in Cambridgeport, where it will establish a joint headquarters for a new cancer division.

As you may recall (what a feeling of deja vu) last summer, at this time, the world was battling the H1N1 virus from Argentina (coincidentally, my most recent international trip in the summer of 2010) to China to the United States.

Sanofi-Aventis was one of only a handful of H1N1 vaccine producers and, given the low number of vaccine manufacturers, and the various challenges with the production of this vaccine, my research group began a study on multiproduct supply chain network design with applications to healthcare. Clearly, with fixed capacities, some of the vaccine producers had to switch from production of the annual flu vaccine to the challenging H1N1 vaccine.

We are pleased that the study has resulted in a paper/report, "Multiproduct Supply Chain Network Design with Applications to Healthcare," which, given the timeliness of the topic, we are making available to our readers through the Virtual Center for Supernetworks. The research allows pharmaceutical firms to redesign their supply chains in an optimal way to enable the cost-minimizing production of multiple vaccines and medicines with demand satisfaction.

Research at Business Schools is increasingly focusing not only on how wealth can be created but also how it can be done in a socially responsible way.