Nikolay Kapustkin - CEO of Globe Medical

No-risk-or-delay medical supplies delivery

Since 2014 pharmaceutical field in Russia displays rapid development: clinical trials extend significantly, increases cooperation with the foreign drug suppliers in terms of rare drugs delivery (including those for orphan diseases treatment). All these factors contribute to logistic companies becoming more important, especially in medicine. They are crucial in direct-to-Consumer delivery. If you want to know what medical logistics is, or how the life-saving drugs are imported or what is risk-management of complex deliveries, please consult Nikolay Kapustkin, Globe Medical CEO

Dear Nikolay, hello! What was the origin of your idea to develop medical logistics?

That is fuelled by the need to expand pharmaceutical market. In 2016, the year we started up, medical logistics was reserved by the large companies and large freights only. As a result, middle and small freights deliveries were not reserved by anyone, and we started; now we deal with both the largest pharmaceutical companies and small medical entities. Our essentials are deliveries of medical devices or drugs; biological samples’ delivery, storage and destruction. All the documental support is also a massive part of our job.

Why it is so important to deal with single purpose companies only?

The point is that we are to deliver modern solutions to the society. At first, pharmaceutical products’ quality is constantly increased. On the other hand, freights’ handling often requires definite temperature regimen observing; thus wide-line profile companies cannot transport certain medicinal substances. In our routine practice we utilize special equipment, e.g., multi-type shipment containers, given instant temperature loggers and special tracking programs letting us see the freights’ movements and comply with the timelines.

What does the shipment process like?

Shipment comprises several stages. First, we inquire the manufacturer on the drug and its specifications, like storage conditions, and then we specify the destination and prepare itinerary. We ship the freight in special containers and utilize refrigerators, both of domestic and foreign origin. When choosing the courier company, we analyze the whole route since the character of the freight is very specific. It is essential that the temperature curve to be traced during the whole shipment, thus we split it to several stages, e.g., from sender to Customs, from Customs to depot, from depot to clinical site. Each stage is supported by the temperature report and shipping documents where the dates of shipment and receipt are specified. All the shipments are automatically accounted therefore we may trace them online. In case of any delay we receive the alarm and our managers switch in to rapidly identify the reason of the delay and freight location. It is only medical associates or their delegates who can receive the shipment. Typically, no convoy is required; however, potent substances or reagents require full set of the documents thus these are accompanied by the specialist only.

One of your major activities is importation of life-saving drugs. What is the essence?

This activity is paid special attention from the very start-up. As of now, we are one of the few companies who imports the drugs for orphan diseases. Biological samples shipment is time and cost-consuming as well as orphan diseases drugs importation. To cover expenses we cooperate with the partners or charity funds; also, compete in tenders. No great challenges here since we are fully compliant with the Russian legislation. The only delays are due to lack of the drug or their high costs. Please note that Globe Medical always fulfills a state contact in terms of cost and timelines. Typically, it is a month that is allocated for a drug importation; if not observed, penalties are changed. There may be such rare drugs that are numbered less than 10 units within a country; to get a required number of units we even may engage several countries. Beside drug importation we ship biological samples from all over Russia to any medical site in Europe or America where orphan diseases are confirmed and drug supplies are approved. We also are involved in pediatric spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) project where gene therapy is indicated.

Do you render full service shipments with all the documents collected?

Sure. We apply all our experience and skills here, thus it would be better if documents collection is performed by practisers. On the one hand, logistics appears to be simple; on the other hand, terms for import or export license approval are shortened. In case some mistakes are revealed, we eliminate them and settle customs check. Sometimes expert services are required for approval obtaining; in that case we do that for our own expense and never increase the cost for the customer. Please note that that we weren’t born yesterday and we perfectly know which documents are to be collected for import or export license obtaining. For instance, drugs importation requires approval of Russian Ministry of Health, whereas biological samples require that of Roszdravnadzor, and lab kits require compliance statement based on registration approval of the manufacturer.

Which are the timelines and risk management?

Delivery times depend on the direction and freight type. There are either often used routes, which take about 2-3 days (all the documents are set), or rare directions, e.g., deliveries from South Africa, requiring a detailed approach and 2-3 weeks for delivery. To minimize the risks, we need to know nature and purpose of the freight. Transportation problems always possess a risk of delivery times violation, e.g., if a flight delay occurs, we either look for another flight, or plan a combination of flights,; sometimes it happens that we even utilize truck shipments by roads. Please note that all the unexpected costs are at our own expense, and we do this deliberately, since it is crucial for us to fulfill our obligations on time.

Who are you Customers?

We work with pharmaceutical companies, medical sites and laboratories conducting clinical trials; also, we deal with charitable foundations, individuals, veterinary clinics and drug stores. We transport in all directions in Europe, USA, China, and India. Currently, we are engaged in a large project for the of COVID-19 test systems supply in Omsk region. Notable, that during the pandemic period there were certain difficulties in the logistics system due to closed borders and medical sites working with coronavirus patients only. Approval obtaining took more time, and we had to look for delivery routes, but we succeeded and found new suppliers and new routes.

Please estimate company development and the whole field?

As of now, there are now few companies in Russia occupied in clinical trials logistics. However, the industry is developing; the last year showed 5-fold demand increase for our services. Currently Globe-Medical’s main goal is to maintain the transportation quality and expansion; also, we think much about the company development, so we invest much in new equipment and associates training.

Last two years we closely cooperate with the YME company from Novosibirsk in terms of SOS (Second Opinion Service) development; that would be implemented in Russian medical institutions. The platform allows online communication of the patient with any doctor in any specialized medical institution of the country in a consult-diagnostics-diagnosis-treatment-allocation mode. This would be time saving for a patient and direct consultation obtained. Clinics with SOS-service will get more patients and updated the diagnostics and improves the treatment.  We hope SOS to be implemented in most Russian clinics so that our citizens might get due and rapid medical care.

What is next?

Expansion and development are our focuses; training our associates is also crucial. In the nearest future we plan to have our European division and depot.

Chief Executing Officer – Nikolay Kapustkin. Born in Moscow, 1986. Possesses an honors degree in “High Technologies”, D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia. Logistics background covers more than 10 years. CEO of Globe-Medical since 2016. Married, has a daughter. Fond of travelling; main creed is to always fulfill the obligations.