It may seem easy to pick up vitamins and medicine from the local pharmacy or store. Shipping pharmaceuticals can be a difficult task. Cold chain logistics plays an important role in pharmaceutical supply chains. Let’s take a look at the complex logistics involved in shipping pharmaceuticals.
The Basics of Pharmaceuticals
In the last few decades, pharmaceutical companies have made significant progress in creating medications that are specialized for certain people and rare diseases. There are many types of specialized pharmaceutical products.
One type of Northwest haulage companies is biologicals. These include vaccines, blood, allergens and genes, as well as tissues. Due to the high demand for a COVID-19 vaccination, biologicals have become increasingly popular.
Prescription drugs, such as stimulants and opioids, are another form of pharma product. These products are highly susceptible to theft and should be treated with extra security.
There are also over-the-counter medicines (OTC), such as vitamins, minerals, or supplements. These different pharmaceuticals come in a variety of forms, including liquids, ointments, and solids.
Shipping medicine can be delicate. It can be difficult to ship medicine, so regulations are important to remember. Neglecting to consider regulations can have a negative impact on the flow of your supply chains.
Shipping pharmaceuticals begins when the manufacturing process starts and continues throughout the supply chain. The Food and Drug Administration and Current Good Manufacturing Practices established guidelines for pharmaceuticals that set standards for manufacturing, storage and distribution.
This type of freight requires standard vehicle equipment. Each truck that transports products by road must have temperature control and security features. To prevent cross-contamination between products, it is important to clean the trailer regularly.
Transporting pharmaceuticals requires another regulation: it is important to keep all records. All parties involved must keep all records regarding transportation and training.
Cold chain maintenance
Cold chain logistics was responsible for 26 percent in 2019. The quality of pharmaceuticals is greatly affected by cold chain logistics. Climate-controlled medicine is required for 70% of medicines. Climate-controlled trucks are essential for pharmaceutical shipping. Climate-controlled trucks have their own cooling units. The refrigeration unit maintains the right temperature for your freight and insulates it so that products are protected from the elements.
It is crucial to properly package these products. Selecting the appropriate level of temperature-controlled packaging that best fits your shipment will help protect your pharmaceutical products even more. Insulated containers can be used to protect your cargo from heat, light and moisture.
A pharmaceutical product can be damaged by temperature fluctuations as small as 2 degrees. Regular inspection and servicing of the vehicle will ensure that there is no temperature variation during transport. Being proactive is key to cold chain logistics. This will ensure that your freight arrives safely.
Risks When Shipping Pharmaceuticals
High risks come with valuable freight. Pharmaceuticals can be rendered ineffective and even fatal if they are not properly controlled. Even a two-degree temperature change can cause a product to be unusable. To prolong the efficiency of this freight, carriers must keep track of their temperature logs and be proactive during shipment.
Shipping pharmaceuticals is a high-risk business. The theft of prescription drugs such as opioids is a high-risk area. Although most pharmaceutical warehouses are equipped with high-security security measures, the majority of thefts occur while they are in transit. It is important to choose quality carriers that will protect your freight.
The fact that medicine is becoming more specific is another obstacle. Individuals with rare and specific diseases are receiving personalized medicine. These pharmaceuticals are low in volume, but have high value. Specialized pharmaceuticals require special temperatures. To ensure safe delivery, it is crucial to discuss your freight requirements with your carrier.
No matter what type of drug it is or how it’s made, pharmaceuticals must be handled with care. A third-party logistics company (3PL), can help with this.
It is not easy to ship pharmaceuticals. A 3PL with a strong background in cold-chain logistics is the best choice. We are a Burris Logistics company that can provide cold chain support, from production to delivery and everything in between. Your pharmaceuticals will be safe in our capable hands.