Zuellig Pharma, a leading healthcare services group in Asia, has announced a groundbreaking partnership with global biopharma company GSK to establish its inaugural vaccine distribution hub in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Headquartered in Singapore, the vaccine distribution hub will serve 13 markets in APAC.
As part of the collaboration, Zuellig Pharma Singapore will provide GSK with warehousing and distribution services, specializing in cold-chain management for its vaccines. The hub will also leverage Zuellig Pharma’s expertise in blockchain technology, particularly for China, one of GSK’s key APAC markets. Through the utilization of eZTracker, Zuellig Pharma’s end-to-end blockchain solution, the vaccine supply chain will gain increased resilience and traceability, addressing the growing challenge of counterfeit healthcare products in the region.
A key focus of the partnership is to reduce the environmental impact of the vaccine supply chain. The hub will adopt a sea transport model, significantly decreasing the supply chain’s carbon footprint by at least 30% compared to air transport. Additionally, strict temperature controls will be implemented to ensure the integrity and quality of all vaccines.
Tan Yan Ann, Chief Executive of Zuellig Pharma Singapore, expressed excitement about supporting GSK in managing its Asia supply chain, noting the strategic location of the vaccine hub, which will enable quick responses to the ever-changing healthcare landscape in each market. The combined expertise in cold-chain management and blockchain technology is expected to create a stronger and more resilient supply chain, ultimately enhancing healthcare accessibility in the region.
Robert Kruit, EVP strategic partnerships & business development at Zuellig Pharma, emphasized the profound impact of the partnership on vaccine availability in the region while setting new standards in supply chain traceability and sustainability.
GSK’s vaccines portfolio is among the broadest in the biopharma industry, safeguarding people from various diseases. With two million vaccines administered daily, including 40% of the world’s children receiving a GSK vaccine annually, the demand for GSK’s vaccines in APAC is rapidly growing. The new vaccine distribution hub in Singapore will serve as GSK’s gateway into the region, supporting their expansion efforts.
Saddam Huq, director of cold chain & logistics network at GSK, highlighted the strategic significance of the project for the company’s growth and global synergies. The establishment of this regional distribution hub is a major milestone for GSK’s distribution network, reinforcing their commitment to net zero climate impact by 2030 and aligning with their purpose of positively impacting the health of 2.5 billion people worldwide by the end of 2030.