Amgen Rhode Island finds antidote for exporting obstacles

SHIP IT: Supply Chain Manager Daphne Johnstad and Supply Chain Director David Seaback, center, check in with Shipping Manager Peter Reynolds at Amgen Rhode Island’s West Greenwich facility.

Amgen Rhode Island
Exporting Excellence, 2019 PBN Manufacturing Awards

While Amgen Inc.’s Rhode Island operation usually ships most of its biologic products to the drug manufacturer’s processing plant in Puerto Rico, international shipments have grown steadily in recent years, creating new challenges for Amgen.

As Amgen Rhode Island’s product mix – the active ingredients for myriad Amgen pharmaceuticals – and its volume have increased, the company has needed to export more products for drug finishing and filling at locations in Ireland, Germany, Italy and Japan.

“Amgen Rhode Island exports have increased from 26 percent of actual shipments in 2017 to 33 percent in 2018,” said Supply Chain Director David Seaback. “We expect to see a continuing trend upwards over the next several years.”

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More exports bring complications, which Amgen said it has worked hard to overcome.

Under traditional procedures in which Transportation Security Administration officials open and inspect every shipment, Amgen’s highly regulated, pristine and frozen biologics face the risks of contamination, deterioration and delays.

Instead, with support and training from the TSA, Amgen Rhode Island soon will become a certified cargo-screening facility. As a result, products from West Greenwich “will move through the supply chain with reduced lead times at greater ease,” Seaback said. “We [will] have six Amgen employees complete the TSA certification … who will monitor the packing and sealing of products in an area within the facility that will be cordoned off.”

‘Amgen Rhode Island exports have increased from 26 percent of actual shipments in 2017 to 33 percent in 2018.’
DAVID SEABACK, Amgen Rhode Island supply chain director


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