Supply Chain Resilience in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Qualitative Analysis from Scholarly and Managerial Perspectives

  •  Francesca Faggioni    
  •  Marco Valerio Rossi    
  •  Andrea Sestino    


This paper aims to collect evidence from Global Supply Chains (SCs) actors in the pharmaceutical sector to understand how they define a resilient supply chain and what are the main resilience elements useful to measure the degree of resilience of a supply chain considering the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic period. In doing so, our purpose is to make a comparison between the two categories and uncover on which supply chain resilience-related topics there is agreement or not. Through a qualitative research design, a two-round focus group was conducted with supply chain players that represent different nodes along the chain (e.g., as for supplier, manufacturers, service providers, CMO). Key findings, related to the conducted discussions among the focus group, show how managers appreciate and agree comprehensive supply chain resilience definitions provided by extant literature. Nonetheless, although there is a general agreement on some recent definitions, managers asserted that some key resilience elements are currently missing in those definitions, regarding human resources and technology roles in enhancing the resilience of supply chains. In addition, supply chain resilience elements considered most important by managers of the pharmaceutical supply chain are adaptability, flexibility, agility, and collaboration.

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