Ebola West Africa outbreak could affect pharma ingredients supply chain


The largest exports from Liberia are palm oil and palm kernel oil, a key building block in many raw materials

The Rx-360 Consortium warns that the latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa could have an impact on certain pharmaceutical ingredients. It says it is actively monitoring the current situation and will continue to provide updates on the potential impact.

The organisation says: ‘While our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the outbreak, the risk to the pharmaceutical supply chain must be evaluated, understood and remediated.’ It adds that while currently there appears to be no measurable impact on pharmaceutical supply chain activities, it is prudent to analyse current inventory levels for critical components, commodities and raw minerals.

The largest exports from Liberia, a country hard hit by the Ebola outbreak, are palm oil and palm kernel oil, a key building block in many raw materials. Fortunately, some 80–90% of these global supplies come from Malaysia and Indonesia, therefore the impact should be minimal.

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Materials that are downstream of palm oil and palm kernel oil include: ascorbyl palmitate, calcium stearate, caprylic acid, cetyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, xodium dodecyl sulfate, magnesium stearate, myristic acid, palmitic acid, sodium caprylate, sodium stearate, vitamin A palmitate and vitamin C ester.