GDP certification reinforces global logistics leader’s high quality, security, cold-chain standards
ITASCA, Ill. – AIT Worldwide Logistics’ life sciences division recently received Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification for its central hub in Itasca, Ill., from global certification leader SGS.
“Our pursuit and achievement of GDP certification underscores our vision and mission to deliver world-class logistics solutions and experiences for our customers,” said AIT’s Vice President Strategic Accounts, Michael Rothacher.
GDP certification requires pharmaceutical product handlers to meet stringent World Health Organization (WHO) standards for safety and security. While GDP certification is not a global requirement, EU pharmaceutical companies and their logistics partners must comply with GDP regulations.
“In an increasingly complex industry, [GDP certification] elevates our global offering,” said AIT Life Sciences Sales Director, William Freidel. “It not only affirms our commitment as a premium pharmaceuticals and life sciences logistics provider, it underlines our dedication to security and quality across the board.”
According to AIT Global Compliance Director, Aaron Ambrite, AIT’s life sciences Control Tower underwent several document, process and procedure audits to obtain certification, including a two-day onsite assessment and a live product recall drill.
SGS’ review also included an examination of AIT’s vendors and suppliers, he said, as well as physical inspections of the control tower’s containers and packaging, sanitary conditions, security and temperature control variation.
“The certification process was all-encompassing to ensure that AIT’s cold-chain procedures meet WHO standards and provide customers with a secure, safe, and efficient supply chain for pharmaceutical cargo,” Ambrite said. “We were well positioned going into the audit, and it provided an opportunity for the control tower to enhance and improve upon already existing procedures.”
He added that AIT’s other locations have replicated the control tower’s learnings from the certification experience, ensuring that all AIT locations are GDP compliant.
According to Freidel, GDP certification quickly communicates to customers that consistent quality management systems are in place throughout the entire supply chain.
“There’s no room for error in the pharma and healthcare supply chains,” Freidel said. “The GDP certification for our life sciences control tower makes it clear that we reach that high bar.”
To remain GDP compliant, AIT’s life sciences division must undergo an annual audit for three years. After three years, SGS requires a major audit to renew certification.