Pharma cold chain: greener and more digitized
As cold-chain hardware vendors tout their new service orientation, the value of data rises
Pharmaceutical Commerce’s 2019 Cold Chain Special Report captures two significant trends in the industry: the shift toward “cold chain as a service” by vendors of packaging and instrumentation, and the steady growth of data—its collection, distribution and analysis—as a key factor in managing shipments and meeting business objectives.
Cold chain as a service, in turn, is driven by a desire to reduce waste and increase reuse in packaging and related materials. “Before, people paid lip service to reuse as an environmental benefit,” says Kevin Lawler, VP sales for Pelican Biothermal. “Now, it’s being emphasized by the higher quality and potential cost savings that a well-run reuse program can provide.”
Conversations up and down the pharma cold chain show a diverse range of outlooks; there are still un-monitored shipments of temperature-sensitive products occurring, and there are still worrisome process upsets. Pelican Biothermal conducted a market study earlier this year among pharma supply-chain managers and logistics providers, finding that “nearly half (44.6%) of respondents report multiple temperature excursions per year, and 16% say temperature excursions are a monthly occurrence. Moreover, the reported excursions aren’t a matter of a degree or two. Two in five excursions (41%) exceed four degrees, and 21% are more than eight degrees.”
Clearly, there’s work to be done on improving the pharma cold chain for everyday commercial shipments; meanwhile, the attention being paid to the nascent field of cellular and genetic therapies (CGTs)—all out of proportion to their commercial significance today—is opening up new vistas of technologies, services and business practices.Source: Pharmaceutical Commerce
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