We were celebrating not just one of the most important medical achievements in recent history. This day was also a sign of a new era in healthcare. Many of us in the industry had been imagining it for years.
Drug development and approval are now much faster and the focus is on biologics and treatments that address the most pressing health problems of today.
Cold chain plays a crucial role
According to a recent McKinsey survey, 90% of top executives believe that the Covid-19 pandemic will fundamentally change the way business is done over the next five years. This trend is evident in the sterile pharmaceutical industry.
The massive quantities of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine needed to be shipped around the globe at ultra-cold temperatures (-80C /-112F). This led to a huge investment and innovation effort in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on improving cold chain storage and transport.
From powerful cold and ultra-low-temperature storage capabilities to extraordinarily precise tracking technologies (to within one foot anywhere in the network), I believe that the cold chain solutions rapidly brought to market or further optimized as a result of the Covid vaccine will dramatically alter global pharmaceutical distribution moving forward.
The fastest-growing disease categories are chronic and lifestyle diseases, including cancers, respiratory, auto immune, and cardiovascular conditions and Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
The pharma industry is entering into a period of rapid acceleration in the development of biologically derived, temperature-controlled drugs and therapies. In 2018, half of the drugs FDA approved required cold chain support, from refrigerated (2-8degC, 36-46degF) and 15-25degC, 59-77degF) to ultra-cold (as low as -80degC).
And, according to The Business Research Company, the This provides much-needed assurance that the products are at the right temperatures during transport. It is possible to avoid potentially disastrous consequences for efficacy and compromise trust between healthcare providers, patients, and drugmakers.
Additionally, a single, global integrated quality management system (QMS), that is independent of a valid technology platform, improves visibility and control over key quality metrics.
A solid QMS provides consistency in storage and transport and provides a framework for checks and balances to ensure that people are trained and processes are documented. Plans are also set up for exceptions.
Without a strong QMS, companies will have difficulty finding opportunities in the new cold chain future.
We in healthcare logistics believe that safe delivery of critical healthcare products is crucial for the well-being and lives of patients all over the world, so we don’t care where they are located.
It is essential to ensure that the cold chain process has a well-trained workforce. To ensure that critical packages move smoothly from beginning point to destination, it is vital to have fully-trained cold chain experts there.
This will prevent unexpected events such as weather or traffic problems, which could jeopardize shipment. Logistics experts keep an eye on packages 24 hours a day and create contingency plans to redesign routes, replenish dry Ice and ensure that packages arrive on time.
As we saw with the huge global distribution effort for Covid-19, highly skilled healthcare logistics companies can provide advice on the specific regulations and storage requirements country-by-country for vaccines and emerging biologics.
- What are the strict rules in this country?
- What are the environmental standards that must be met by this country?
- Is specialty labeling necessary?
- What are storage regulations?
- What is the validity of the packaging?
- These answers will be known by skilled and experienced logistics professionals, which saves time and ensures quality.