By Nicholas Basta, Pharmaceutical Commerce
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that packaging for the life sciences cold chain advances as rapidly as, say, smartphones. Every year brings a new wave of designs, materials and service offerings. The comparison isn’t fair because, unlike smartphones, cold chain packaging varies from units of sale (delivered to the patient at home, for example), to cases, to pallet-scale shipping containers. Then you add in the variety of transportation modes—ground, air, sea—and you have a veritable cornucopia of opportunities (and challenges).
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Trick question: how do we know that life sciences supply-chain managers love regulations? Answer: because they have so many of them! In a more serious vein, though, the plethora of regulations is a testament to how many different functions of modern manufacturing and logistics come into play with life sciences supply chains. A not-exhaustive list of relevant fields includes packaging technology, air cargo equipment, ocean shipping processes, and pharmaceutical formulation and public health. Specialized parts of life sciences include parenteral drug standards, vaccines standards, and blood processing.
The goal of all of these standards is to ensure safe and effective products get to patients; they are also a testament to the complexity of logistics, which deals with weather, vehicles and human resources on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, the more successful organizations in the pharma cold chain are the ones whose knowledge and application of the standards improves operating efficiencies as well as safety.
Read the rest of this article to learn how you too can master the temperature controlled pharma logistics regulatory landscape.