Pharmaceutical Transport: Best Practices That You Should Know

December 5, 2023

Best Practices In Pharmaceutical Transport That You Should Know

The pharmaceutical industry plays a vital role in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and marketing drugs and medicines. This sector involves extensive research and the synthesis of chemical compounds while adhering to government regulations. 

pharmaceutical delivery

The pharmaceutical industry has been booming over time. Over the last20 years, the pharmaceutical market has witnessed substantial expansion, contributing significantly to the global economy. In2022, pharmaceutical revenues worldwide amounted to a staggering 1.48 trillion U.S. dollars

The pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on transportation and logistics. Since these products require proper care, they must be transported in special containers.

pharmaceutical transportation

Pharmaceutical transport is a complex process that requires careful planning, execution, and monitoring. It involves the movement of drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and other health products from the point of manufacture to the point of use, while ensuring their quality, safety, and efficacy. 

Types Of Pharma Shipments

When transporting medicines, one crucial thing to consider is the kind of medicines being shipped. Pharma shipments can be grouped into three main categories. Let’s discuss them;

Ambient Medicines

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Ambient medicines refer to those medicines that can be transported at normal room temperature, usually between 15°C and 25°C. These are medicines that don't need any exceptional cooling or heating. 

Some examples of ambient medicines are; 

  • Pills
  • Capsules
  • Medicinal Powders

Cryogenic Medicines

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Cryogenic medicines are medical drugs that require freezing temperatures to remain stable, typically from -150°C to absolute zero temperature.

Cryogenic medicines include;

  • Vaccines
  • Blood products
  • Cellular or gene therapies
  • Tissue samples

Refrigerated Medicines 

transport medicine

Refrigerated medicines require cooler temperatures to stay effective and safe for use. They also need to be kept cool during transportation. They usually survive at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C

Refrigerated medicines include; 

  • Insulin
  • Eye drops
  • Vaccines for Polio, Measles, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Smallpox, etc.
  • Chemotherapy drugs.

Challenges When Shipping Pharmaceutical Products 

Pharmaceutical transportation is different from ordinary shipment and logistics. Many severe problems, such as supply chain disruptions and temperature changes, can adversely affect pharmaceutical transport.

The following are some of the hardcore challenges that may occur during pharmaceutical transportation;

Delivering Temperature-Sensitive Drugs

Shipping pharmaceuticals is a daunting task, especially for medicines that require a suitable temperature during transit. If the temperature is not correct, the medication might not work well, or it could even have adverse effects on patient health. 

They require special packaging and temperature monitoring tools to keep them safe.

Strict Compliance With Laws And Regulations

There is a complex set of rules that govern pharmaceutical products and their transport. While shipping medicines, one must adhere to all such laws and 

regulations. These rules come from organizations like the UN, the US Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and local authorities. 

When a pharmaceutical transport company does not adhere to those rules, it can lead to financial losses and damage its reputation. 

Higher Shipping And Insurance Costs 

Another challenging part of shipping medicines is that it can cost more for shipping and insurance. A shipping company requires reefer containers with specialized equipment to ensure the medicinal products stay in good condition. 

Consequently, the transportation and insurance expenses go sky-rocketing compared to regular shipments.

Lack Of Qualified Drivers 

The lack of experienced drivers is another critical issue in pharmaceutical transportation. Pharmaceutical transport needs qualified drivers with basic knowledge about the medicines and their suitable temperature limits. 

Above all, they should also understand the laws for transporting medicinal drugs. 

Supply Chain Disruptions 

In the pharmaceutical industry, many things can go wrong with the supply chain. Issues like insufficient packaging materials and delays in medicine manufacturing can disrupt the supply chain, causing undue shipping delays and price hikes. 

Therefore, it's essential to have a robust system for managing the supply chain and tackling these challenges. 

Best Practices In Transporting Pharmaceuticals

Transporting pharmaceutical products requires strict adherence to good practices and necessary safety measures. Following the below-given procedures and precautions will help ensure the safety and integrity of shipments and prevent the loss of high-quality products.

So, let’s get into these practices in detail;

Know Your Products

One of the best practices in transporting pharmaceuticals is identifying and understanding the products. The transporter or drivers must know which type of medicines they are shipping. They also need to know about the medicines sensitive to temperature, humidity, moisture, and shocks. 

Hence, primary pharmaceutical knowledge is a must-have thing to ensure safe and successful transportation.

Consider All Options For Controlling Temperatures

There are various ways to keep pharmaceutical products at the right temperature during transportation. Standard options include using refrigerated trucks and trailers. Additionally. individual cooling units like freezers, dry ice, and refrigerant gel packs are also used. 

When discussing pharmaceutical transportation using reefers, we cannot deny the exceptional role of reefer fuel. It is a special diesel fuel used to run the refrigeration units in refrigerated trailers. Reefers have cooling systems that depend on reefer fuel to keep a steady and cold temperature inside. 

However, if you need the best reefer fuel for pharmaceutical industry logistics, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are always prepared to provide you with the finest reefer fuel at any time.

Leverage Real-Time Monitoring 

Utilizing real-time monitoring and tracking means evaluating and analyzing the expected problems during pharmaceutical transport. It involves keeping an eye on temperature and also monitoring humidity, light, vibration, and potential shocks during transportation. 

For instance, we can use temperature and humidity data loggers. These are the specialized electronic devices that can detect and record the temperature inside the containers. 

Document The Entire Shipping Process 

Documenting the whole shipping process plays a key role in meeting regulatory requirements. It also establishes a good transportation record and demonstrates the correct shipping procedures.

It must include the following primary records;

  • Temperature Details
  • Medicine Packaging 
  • Medicine Labelling

Comply With Rules and Regulations

Following every pharmaceutical manufacturer guideline and government regulation is also an excellent practice. It includes rules from the following organizations;

  • FDA
  • DEA for controlled medicines
  • CGMP regulations
  • State laws for moving special chemicals

Use Specific And Specialized Packaging 

pharmaceutical delivery

Using special packaging is another must-do practice to transport temperature-sensitive medicines safely. It involves using;

  • Insulated containers
  • Thermal blankets
  • Phase-change materials
  • Biodegradable air pillows 

Furthermore, the packaging must also have clear labels and instructions about the temperature. And, when necessary, remember to include signs that comply with the UN safety regulations.

Give Proper Training To Personnel

Personnel handling pharmaceutical shipments require proper training to ensure secure medicine shipping. The training includes teaching them the right way to;

  • Handle medicines
  • Keep records
  • Use temperature monitoring tools

Therefore, it's a great idea to have regular training sessions to train the personnel about mandatory requirements and regulations needed for pharmaceutical transportation.

How Fuel Logic Helps In Pharmaceutical Transport

Fuel Logic is a reputed fuel delivery agency established with your needs in mind. We understand the challenges drivers face when they run out of fuel during their journeys, and we take pride in assisting. If you encounter a mishap and need fuel during pharmaceutical transport, there's no need to stress. Simply reach out to us and order fuel wherever you want. 

Partnering with Fuel Logic is your best choice for dependable fuel services. We are dedicated to bringing a smile to your face by offering emergency fuel delivery services, including reefer fuel delivery and off-road diesel fuel delivery.

Our reefer fuel delivery not only ensures steady and secure pharmaceutical transport but also helps reduce costs and prevent delays. We are committed to becoming your reliable fuel source. You can order fuel here or visit our homepage to learn more.

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