Protecting the integrity of pharmaceutical products is crucial at every stage of the distribution channel.
Pharmaceuticals become compromised when they are exposed to extreme temperature, moisture, and direct sunlight.
In controlled environments such as manufacturing facilities, storage, and pharmacy dispensaries, it is a lot easier to protect medicines from these potential dangers.
However, during transit, maintaining cold chain throughout the entire journey is more challenging.
Cold chain is a supply chain that aims to maintain the quality and integrity of a product by ensuring the correct temperature is maintained, from manufacture right through to the end user.
Cold chain goods are considered perishable and more susceptible to degradation than goods that do not depend on cold chain.
How Does Temperature Affect the Stability of Pharmaceuticals?
Medication is made from various chemical which are formulated and combined for the purpose of treating, preventing, or managing illnesses.
These chemicals can withstand the internal environment of the body to a certain degree but are not capable of withstanding extreme temperatures.
When exposed to extreme heat, the chemicals will begin to break down, forming impurities which then affect the potency of the medication and subsequently, its efficacy.
Extremely cold conditions cause medicine proteins to degrade which also diminished the stability of the drug.
As chemical changes take place, medication will be subject to changes in colour, texture, consistency and may develop a bad odour or taste.
If your medication smells, looks or tastes unusual, it’s likely that it encountered extreme temperatures at some point during the cold chain.
This is also an indication that the medication will no longer be effective.
When the stability of a medicine has been compromised, it is unlikely that it will cause direct harm to the user.
However, there is an undeniable secondary risk that exists. In other words, the patient may not be aware of the inefficacy of the medication they are using, and in turn, they may suffer severely or even fatally from the illness they are trying to treat.
This happens because the medication is not working the way it should. Some illnesses are silent killers and show no obvious signs or symptoms.
Avoiding this is of paramount importance as it can result in injury or loss of life.
Easily the most vulnerable stage of cold chain is the transit stage as there are several variables which put the medication at risk.
Risks include but are not limited to:
Cold Chain Technologies is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of thermal packaging. Designed with the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical industries in mind, the standard cold chain maintenance ensures the safe delivery of all temperature sensitive goods to the relevant merchants, guaranteed.
Evolution Medical is a proud supplier of Cold Chain Technologies thermal packaging in South Africa. This thermal packaging has been designed with the worst possible scenario in mind, to minimise the margin of error substantially.
If you would like more information about our thermal packaging solutions, or how this packaging can benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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