Drug companies on Monday acquired from business-intelligence vendor Edge Dynamics another weapon in their arsenal to prevent fraud, counterfeiting, and speculative buying on the part of wholesalers.
Edge Dynamics Release 3.0 is essentially a response to the most recent government regulations requiring the pharmaceutical industry to extend visibility and track products down to the consumer level.
"This is well beyond what the industry ever had to do before, but with the grey market and illicit pharmaceuticals so prevalent it is a necessity," said John Fontanella, senior vice president at the Aberdeen Group.
With Release 3.0 manufacturers will track shipments of drugs from the wholesaler to the retailer, aggregating and comparing the volume of products being shipped to the amount of products manufactured, therefore identifying possible counterfeiting.
Edge Dynamics Release 3.0 also offers an SAP connector with 100 prebuilt reports for ad hoc trend analysis. The so-called plug-and-play SAP connector will give users bidirectional data synchronization.
Rob Chen, vice president of marketing and business development, said there has been a dramatic change in the drug-distribution industry, with a huge increase in counterfeit drugs and a secondary market created by unscrupulous wholesalers who buy on a speculative basis and resell when the price goes up.
Release 3.0, which sits alongside the transaction-processing engine, will offer users inline analytics at the point of demand to understand developing trends and spot irregularities of buying patterns against such business policies.
"The new version looks at whether or not people are stockpiling inventory," Chen said.
Stockpiling against future price increases is a business practice that isn't unique in the pharmaceutical industry and is, in fact, frowned upon in most industries, especially in pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods.
The continuous score card capability in Release 3.0 has also been enhanced to monitor the newer fee-for-service business model between manufacturers and distributors.
"Manufacturers will be able to see which wholesalers are behaving and adjust compensation based on what they are delivering," Chen said.
Release 3.0 is shipping now.