Keeping pharmaceutical products at the correct temperature is a challenge that is critical to helping medical patients maintain their health. During the entire storage and distribution lifecycle, if a part of the process is not accounted for, it could be paid at the expense of an individuals life. However, we understand that’s a bold statement, so let’s explore why temperature control is so important.
Why Temperature Control is Important
The pharmaceutical logistics and supply chain process involve the movement of drugs and medications from one facility to another. When these products are exposed to incorrect temperatures, the effects of decomposition can occur and diminish the effects intended from the products. This may sometimes lead to a ruined medication that can lead to toxicity and even death.
Most pharmaceutical goods remain between 2-8 degrees Celsius (36-46 degrees Fahrenheit), but there are extensions to this where temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius are used in warehouses to maintain products appropriate for this temperature. It is essential that during the logistics process that resources are dedicated to establishing, maintain, and refine the temperature control. Too often, it can be the difference between an effective medication that works, and one that does not and results in harmful side effects.
Temperature Control in Warehouse
To ensure that the temperature control of the pharmaceutical goods is properly cared for, there is a level of qualification and monitoring that must be met. The warehouse, cooler, and trailer needs to be qualified based on tests to uncover if there are any areas that are prone to outside temperature ranges. To approve of temperature qualifications, a test is done when the warehouse is empty, and again once it is stocked with products.
After the approval, the warehouse space must constantly be monitored and validated to the correct temperature. Proactive measures, or measures put in place to ensure no drastic situations happen, help identify problems before they happen. Devices that may be installed are temperature controlled alarms, where it notifies when the threshold for the temperature reaches a certain point.
Reactive measures involve the ability to react quickly if an unexpected crisis occurs. This could be due to equipment failures and extreme weather conditions. Protecting against these types of problems require the formation of contingency plans so that if in the case of a catastrophic event happens, the personnel in charge of the warehouse has a procedure to follow to ensure minimal damages to the goods.
Temperature Control in Transportation
Once the pharmaceutical products are on their way to their destination, they are now in an environment where the unpredictable can happen. Situations that can affect the temperature control are accidents, storms, and even particles/insects from the outside getting into the shipment. To ensure that these situations are taken care of, there are procedures for the two modes of shipments: Parcel and Pallet.
Parcel shipments are tested both nationally and internationally to approve of the shipping containers will maintain the set temperature. Once approved and qualified, then it is set up to ready the shipments of the pharmaceutical goods.
With pallet shipments, it is much more strict. The quality test requires the different carriers to undergo a strict qualification test is met. One of the procedures is a live load temperature test, in which the carrier is sent across the country stocked with real products. They are monitored for any temperature fluctuations in any non-catastrophic situations. This is done in all both the summer and winter months to confirm if the transportation vehicle is able to transport the pharmaceutical goods.
Maintaining temperature control of pharmaceutical goods in this area of logistics is essential to the success of all parties. This is even more essential when the products are time-sensitive and require shipments to arrive at the facilities within a moment’s notice. With our success in the medical and pharmaceutical logistics industry, Mach 1 Global can help your company master the process of temperature controlled shipping. Contact us here!
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