Earlier this month, officers from the MHRA took part in Operation Pangea: an international effort to disrupt the sale of counterfeit health products, medicines and medical devices. As part of this initiative this year, officers seized over three million medicines worth £9m, closed 113,000 illegal websites, executed multiple search warrants and made seven arrests.

Launched in 2008, Operation Pangea takes place every year and sees a focused week of action from across government, law enforcement and related bodies in around 100 countries. And while the operation often involves seizures, website shutdowns and targeted arrests coordinated by Interpol, it’s also an opportunity to raise public awareness.

At Smartway, we take our obligations to our customers, practitioners and their patients seriously. We recognise the trust that is placed in us and our responsibility to protect the legitimacy of our supply chain. And we take proactive steps to safeguard quality, every single day.

Embedding a culture of safety

At the most fundamental level, safety starts with the diligence and commitment of our people. That’s why we put safety and quality at the heart of our processes and values, from the way we recruit new employees to the expectations that we set.

In part, embedded a strong safety culture is a matter of training – not just at the outset of a role, but week after week and year after year. Through regular reviews, one-off training sessions and a structured framework for measuring and improving performance, we give our employees everything they need to think and behave safely.

Demonstrating our commitment to safety

While our culture is important, we firmly believe that a true focus on safety must go beyond ideas and expectations. After all, our people can only deliver the highest standards if they’re supported by well-considered processes and ample resources.

Last year, we continued our sustained investment in innovative new systems to support regulatory compliance and quality assurance. By leveraging the very latest technology, we dramatically reduce the risk of human error and failings in our safety standards.

At the same time, we’ve added more resources to our growing regulatory compliance team. With more expertise focused on this complex, often challenging area, we’re more able to think strategically about how quality and compliance become integrated parts of everything we do, from approving new suppliers to managing new international delivery routes and methods.

Protecting the entire supply chain

Smartway also plays a vital role at a cross-section of the medicines supply chain. Working with so many suppliers and customers around the world, it’s important that we bring accountability, transparency and quality to every partner that we deal with.

Every one of our suppliers operates under strict, well-defined standards. We are uncompromising in our expectations and take robust action against anyone that falls short, including legal action in some instances. We also collaborate closely with the regulator over specific incidents, using our unique reach to manage risk and, ultimately, protect patients around the world.

A continued commitment to safety and quality

Smartway’s reputation has been built on transparency and quality. While our process and controls are industry leading, we’re always striving to remain at the forefront of safety.

“I’m proud of the high standards that our employees and partners operate to. Our culture and continued investments help practitioners work with confidence and give patients the safe and effective medicines they need. As the regulatory landscape and associated systems continue to evolve, we’re constantly enhancing everything we do, setting the bar ever higher.”

Josh Cocklin, Chief Executive