Interview with Marco Gaudesi, Responsible Pharmacist-GSDP and Cold Chain Referent, MSF (Doctors Without Borders)

Update : 16th May, 2023

Responsible Pharmacist Marco Gaudesi talks to Cold Chain Platform about his challenges and essential work at MSF. The interview was carried out in partnership with LogiPharma Asia Summit 2023 (June 20 - 21, 2023 Equarius Hotel, Singapore).

1. What were the biggest cold chain logistics challenges you encountered while working at MSF?

Two main challenges come to mind. The first was when we were preparing the cold chain logistics for an emergency vaccination campaign in the democratic republic of Congo. We had three weeks to organize the cold chain setup for a yellow fever vaccination targeting one million. We had to take care of any aspects concerning the vaccine storage and the passive cold chain for about 120 mobile teams.

The second challenge involved dealing with another emergency vaccination campaign in Sierra Leone. The outbreak target was Ebola, and the vaccines required ultra-low temperatures to be maintained despite the very limited resources environment where we were operating.

Emergency Measles Vaccination Campaign – Equatorial Guinea

2. How much impact does a well-investigated and documented CAPA report add value to future projects?

A well-documented CAPA report doesn't only allow efficient deviations follow-up but, if well written, can also have a didactic impact on the human resources involved. We developed a user-friendly standard self-inspection CAPA follow-up tool. The staff is normally quite committed to using it, as it can perceive the impact on continuous improvement and a constant projection for future quality.

3. How do you manage all the different national and international regulations while working with so many different countries?

We have to deal with many different regulations, considering that we run operations in about 70 countries. One of the primary objectives is not to adopt double standards but to keep the quality up to the requirements of the most stringent national regulatory authorities. On top of our commitment to high standards, we also believe transparent communication with the relevant authorities is vital.

Full Charter of Medical Supplies Ready to Leave Brussels to Haiti

4. From your experience, how important do you think GDP training is, and who benefits the most from a well-trained team?

I believe that GDP training is a crucial requirement for operations. Sometimes there is the perception that GDP requirements are just heavy rules imposed by the authorities, and we tend to forget the critical connection to public health. For us, GDP compliance is, instead, an ethical commitment. We aim to transfer this value to get our staff's onboarding and commitment. We often mention the patients' right to access safe and quality medical products. Therefore, the patient is the ultimate beneficiary of a well-trained team in GDP.

5. At the upcoming LogiPharma Asia conference in June, what will you speak about?

I will share the pharmaceutical logistics challenges related to our medical emergency activity in about 70 countries.

6. What are 2 reasons why Logipharma Asia should not be missed?

Logipharma Asia should not be missed as it provides a rare opportunity for exchange with highly skilled professionals and a crucial chance to strengthen networking in the area.


About MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is the world's leading independent international medical relief organization, implementing and managing medical projects in close to 72 countries worldwide and as a worldwide movement of 25 associations, 24 sections, 17 offices and 6 operational entities.

About Cold Chain Platform

Cold Chain Platform (CCP) is 100% focused on cold chain and logistics in the bio-pharmaceutical, life science, and healthcare industries. CCP shares global cold chain and logistics information and valuable resources to help companies acting in the pharmaceutical space find the right cold chain and logistics partners for their supply chain management.

About LogiPharma Asia

LogiPharma Asia is a premiere event for pharma, biotech, and medtech supply chain executives in Asia and provides an exceptional opportunity for innovators in the industry to learn, benchmark, and share their best practices with peers in a highly interactive format. By bringing together heads of supply chain, operations, and logistics from Asia's most successful pharmaceutical and life science companies, LogiPharma aims to promote deeper collaboration among industry players, leading to more effective and efficient supply chain management.

As a media partner, Cold Chain Platform readers can attend the summit at a discount. Simply quote CCP15 to enjoy 15% off prevailing ticket rates.


This article complies with our Editorial Policy

About Marco Gaudesi

Responsible Pharmacist-GSDP and Cold Chain Referent, MSF

Marco is the responsible pharmacist and focal point for GSDP and cold chain for MSF. Following his degree thesis, Marco has focused on the quality of medicinal products in unconventional circumstances. His experience started studying the complex environment of the emergency medical service. Then it evolved into the even more multifaceted world of medical humanitarian activity in developing countries, working in about 30 of them (including Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Mozambique, Malawi, Afghanistan, and Iraq).

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