The pharmaceutical supply chain is complicated as it requires a high level of expertise and extreme attention to transport products safely. From the origin to the point of delivery, a pharma product’s integrity and quality must be maintained to avoid costly mistakes. The following article displays several key milestones to maintain the pharmaceutical supply chain, so that your Life Sciences products safely arrive at the required destination.
Understanding the Pharmaceutical Transport Regulations
Pharmaceutical shipping is covered extensively by Good Distribution Practices (GDP) to guarantee the safety and quality in the distribution of pharmaceuticals. Compliance with GDP ensures that:
- Medicines in the supply chain are authorised in line with the European Union (EU) regulations;
- Medicines are stored in the right conditions at all times, including transportation operations, temperature equipment and security measures;
- Contamination by or of other products is avoided;
- The right products reach the right address within the correct time period.
Therefore, it is essential to seek an experienced Life Sciences logistics provider that fulfils the GDP regulations throughout the entire logistics process.
Please click here to learn more about the Goods Distribution Practices!
Maintaining Pharmaceutical Temperatures
When shipping pharmaceuticals, companies have to be aware of the temperatures throughout the supply chain. Protecting the integrity of the cold chain is one of the most important parts of pharmaceutical supply chain management. Typically, pharmaceuticals are transported within the temperature ranges of 2-8°C, 15-25°C and –18°C to ensure product stability. A fluctuation of a few degrees could damage the efficacy of a product. Below are the several types of equipment provided by logistics providers to maintain the right temperature:
- Refrigerated vehicles – Refrigerated vehicles often come in the form of small vans and trucks, which are installed with electronic control systems to manage temperatures.
- Passive shipping systems – Passive shipping systems indicate storage containers with a combination of insulating materials and electronic systems to maintain a temperature range. However, they do not require manual input to function, and they can only maintain a temperature range for a set period of time before they expire, making them an effective option for short journeys.
- Active shipping system – Active shipping systems are effectively large thermostatically controlled storage containers. They are usually powered through internal batteries, large cooling fans, heating mechanisms, or an external electrical source.
Labelling Pharmaceutical Products Before Shipping
According to the GDP requirements, the labelling of products is extremely important for pharmaceutical logistics. These requirements cover the information that must be included on each label and how these standards are enforced. Some key labelling requirements are listed below:
- Warnings: A label that shows any risks associated with what is it in the container.
- Purpose of use: A label that refers to the designated method of use.
- Ingredients: A label that includes the various active & inactive ingredients contained within.
- Allergic reactions: A label that indicates any allergic reactions that are associated with taking the medication.
- Official Product name: This label lists the official medical name.
- Drug facts table: A label that demonstrates all facts surrounding the medication.
Besides, the label should also be created in an efficient manner and include all pertinent information. More importantly, the label should not have typographical errors and can use abbreviations as long as they’re well known.
Packing Pharmaceuticals for Transport
Packaging for pharmaceutical transport requires the utmost care. Proper handling of pharmaceutical shipments can be the difference between a ruined shipment and happy clients.
The products should be packed as efficiently as possible into the cubes. The goal is to ship a large number of goods while limiting the movement in transit. Medical products are exceedingly fragile to transport in most cases. If the contents inside are damaged in any way, the products can no longer be used or sold.
Furthermore, thermal pallet covers can be used to further protect the pharmaceutical products. These are custom-made covers put over the drugs while on a pallet that adds another layer of protection against temperature fluctuations. They are also puncture-proof, reducing the potential unnecessary damage.
How Royale Supports Life Sciences Shipments?
Royale International has set up a dedicated Life Sciences Division that specializes in the worldwide handling and transportation of on-time and sensitive temperature-controlled products. We proceed the paperwork for your Life Sciences shipment. Ranging from customs clearance to import/ export permits, and product verification reports, all documents that we process have fulfilled the requirements of Customs Authorities, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Good Distribution Practice (GDP) and Bone Marrow Worldwide Organisation (WMDA) regulations.
Please click here to learn more about our Life Sciences services!