Product recalls business goes global

Stericycle's ExpertSolutions unit acquires a European marketing and recalls business

Saying that “Our pharma clients have global brands, and there’s been a demand for global recalls management to protect those brands,” Mike Rozembajgier, VP of recalls for Stericycle (Indianapolis), expanded on the company’s recent acquisition of Eclipse Marketing, a Wokingham, UK marketing services company. Within Stericycle, which has a global business of medical waste handling and disposal, the ExpertSolutions unit handle reverse logistics for pharma and other consumer-goods companies. Eclipse will be added to ExpertSolutions, which provides related product management services such as field audits and mystery shoppers (who conduct in-field market research in retail).

Recalls can be a critical part of pharma marketing and distribution—and with significant financial risk to a manufacturer if product that needs to be retrieved remains in the supply chain. (A parallel business, product returns, involves the retrieval and sometimes redistribution of overstock at, for example, local pharmacies.) Eclipse’s website notes that the company has significant business in customer-relationship management, including a multi-channel call center, and that it does business both in the UK and on the Continent. Rozembajgier says that generally speaking, product recalls need to be handled within the borders of the region in which they occur. An added responsibility is to provide safe and secure disposal of the recalled products.

Rozembajgier says that business has been up substantially for ExpertSolutions in the first half of this year (which is bad news for pharma manufacturers, who are trying to maintain a better level of control over final product quality). Product recalls are increasingly a data-driven process, with data exchange between the manufacturer, the recall manager and the retailer to manage reimbursement and to verify product disposition. “From recall notification to product handling, storage and destruction, we can assist companies in managing through their global recall crisis in a seamless fashion with access to all the critical data elements,” he concludes.