Those working in the pharmaceutical industry understand the value of keeping the drugs under certain temperature and packaging to ensure the quality is maintained. If the controlled drugs get overheated or get exposed to inappropriate temperatures, decomposition occurs. The process of decomposition not only reduces effectiveness but also puts lives at risk. However, it can be a difficult task, especially during logistics or any pharmaceutical delivery service process while the drugs are transported to one location to other. Even the slightest error during transportation or storage can produce a significant impact on the well-being and safety of the consumer. Pharmaceutical storage in this regard holds special consideration for drug safety and an adequate storage solution by companies must be prioritized.
Let us take a more detailed look into the importance of maintaining temperature control for any controlled drug to ensure the potency is retained as intended.
Each pharmaceutical product holds different attribute in terms of requirements, but all controlled drugs and products need to remain in a certain temperature range during pharmaceutical delivery service and storage. If the drug storage temperature is too high or low, it is likely to affect the chemical stability of the product, resulting in degradation and formation of impurities. While the impurities are not visible for a naked eye, it can produce harmful effects during administration.
In some other cases, a change in temperature of a controlled drug may produce physical change. For example, a drug may change in colour or emit a foul odour and produce bad taste in the mouth when consumed. These factors indicate that the effectiveness of the drug has been compromised and is not useful as intended and may cause harmful effects during consumption.
In recent years, cold chain, which is a type of cold storage process, has become a preferred choice for temperature-controlled storage. Such storage involves keeping a controlled drug within the range of 2-8 degree Celsius during pharmaceutical delivery service and after delivery storage. However, it needs complete cooperation of manufacturer, shipping company and retailers to ensure that the quality remains intact and the drug remains safe for use. Not all medications require cold chain condition but need the required temperature to maintain their stability. Cold chain process ensures that the temperature control remains intact so the drug can retain its stability and quality.
Once a pharmaceutical delivery service ships the product toward the destination, they now remain in an environment of uncertainty where any unpredictable situation might occur. Accidents, storms and even insects getting into the shipment can affect the temperature control and damage the controlled drug’s physical and chemical stability. To avoid such situations, two modes of shipments, namely parcel or pallet, are used.
Parcel shipments are tested both nationally and internationally to prove that the container has necessary arrangements to maintain temperature. Only when approved and qualified, the shipment is allowed to commence. Pellet shipment has much more complex and strict testing before approval. It involves live temperature test in which a controlled drug is sent across the country to monitor the temperature fluctuations in any environment. This test is carried out in both the summer and winter season to determine whether the vehicle can carry the goods or not.
Maintaining a temperature control of any drug during pharmaceutical delivery service process ensures success for all the parties involved. This is especially important if the shipment has a tight delivery schedule and needs arrival on the moment’s notice.
Every pharmaceutical company has a different margin of error in terms of proper temperature maintenance, which means there are strict guidelines to follow to ensure controlled drugs are stored within their temperature ranges. A mere change in a degree of temperature can cause degradation and can ruin a given product completely. Just after the pharmaceutical delivery service completes its shipment, immediate storage in an environment with good ventilation, no humidity, lights or odour is needed. Although the general range of temperature might be between 15-25 degree Celsius, lower temperature requirements are used today to ensure maximum safety from degradation.
In most cases, pharmaceutical companies rely on tries and tested storage facilities to make certain that these controlled drugs are kept under correct conditions. As there is no room for error, companies prefer outsourcing their storage rather than keeping compliance and accuracy themselves. It not only helps to maintain the chain of command but also makes certain that there are backup plans available in case of emergency.
Trying to maintain the temperature during pharmaceutical delivery service and after shipment, storage may cost a company more than they can handle. Entrusting a pharmaceutical storage company with the responsibility often works in the best interest of the manufacturer, shipment company, retailer and ultimately, the consumer.