Temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals, otherwise known as “Cold Chain”, are more and more prevalent in healthcare every day. It is estimated that the cost associated with transportation alone will total $16.6 billion in 2021, and will continue to rise exponentially.
Pharmacies and all healthcare facilities need to be equipped to manage the expectations of handling cold chain products. This means from receiving the products through dispensing them to patients, as ranges in their temperature can render these valuable products worthless. This creates excess waste and unanticipated spending due to the need for replacement of the products.
To guide proper inspection, most wholesalers and manufacturers will provide specifications surrounding their packaging containers. Measures can also be taken to utilize methods in the event that specifications cannot be provided by them. Through use of a calibrated infrared temperature gun the temperature of the shipping container can be obtained. If it is suspected that a product’s quality may have been compromised, immediate action needs to be taken. Quarantine the product in a suitable location within your pharmacy healthcare facility until validation can be completed. Should any product be fount “out of proper range” upon receipt, it should be returned to the wholesaler or manufacturer in exchange for an appropriately handled product.
Ensuring Your Pharmacy Manages Cold Chain
Proper receipt of cold chain products is one thing, but being able to store them appropriately is another. There needs to be actual pharmacy space to adapted to maintain acceptable temperature ranges. Product selection of cold chain refrigerators and freezers is essential. Whatever is right for your pharmacy or healthcare facility, a remote temperature monitoring system is essential in providing 24/7 assurance that products are all kept within temperature range.
Shipping to Manage Cold Chain
Just as it is the responsibility of the pharmacy to maintain proper storage and handling temperatures during storage, it is also their duty to ensure that temperature is controlled while the drug is in transit to the patient. Choosing the packing that is right for your product makes is essential. Package size, composition, and thickness of the shipping container, as well as the composition and quantity of cooling materials, directly affects the length of time that internal contents can remain in a controlled room temperature.