The Friday Report: March 8th, 2019

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

American Logistics Aid Network Mobilized for Tornado Relief

Following the devastating Category 4 tornado in Alabama and Georgia, the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) initiated mobilization of the logistics community.  Based in central Florida, ALAN works with the logistics community across the country to coordinate the donation of the warehouse space, transportation, services and equipment needed for post-catastrophic event assistance.  Using its website, ALAN matches up requests with organizations and private companies that can help fulfill specific needs.  The American Logistics Aid Network also accepts donations, including in-kind donations via its volunteer database.

Rather than sending unsolicited products, trucks or aid workers to affected areas, ALAN helps to streamline the disaster relief process and helps to ensure that the resources that are needed reach their intended destination as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, ALAN facilitates free logistics assistance to disaster relief organizations before, during and after the occurrence of catastrophic events.

Waymo Opens Sale of Sensors to Lower Production Costs

 Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car unit recently announced that it is planning to sell the laser-mapping sensors used on its driverless vehicles to other companies that do not compete in the robotaxi industry.  Known as lidar, the sensors shoot lasers off objects to determine nearby object locations.  The lidar sensor technology can be used in the innovation of warehouse robots, autonomous tractors, security systems and other technologies.

Sale of the lidar technology will pit Waymo in head-to-head competition with the world’s biggest lidar producer, Velodyne Lidar Inc., part of a billion-dollar industry.  

More than simply producing additional revenue for Waymo, the sale of their lidar technology will result in increased production and reduced costs.  Waymo announced that the company is already in talks with dozens of potential clients to purchase the lidar technology.

Senators Blast Pharmaceutical Companies for High List Prices

Recent Senate hearings with pharmaceutical companies to discuss drug pricing resulted heated conversation over the use of high list prices.  Senators noted that the pharmaceutical supply chain needs to be streamlined, more generic drugs need to reach the market and patent “gaming” needs to stop.

The practice of setting list prices higher at the onset to accommodate rebates and discounts on specific drugs was examined.  Rebates and discounts are provided to middle men, (PBMs) but the lower costs are not being provided to consumers.

A three-part hearing on prescription drug pricing has helped to illuminate the challenges of the current system.  The Senate Special Committee on Aging has been hearing testimony from policy experts as well as consumers who have been impacted by high drug prices.  The next step is to hear testimony from Trump administration officials on the steps they have taken to make drug costs more transparent and affordable.

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