Maintaining the Pharma Cold Chain
International support for the pharmaceutical cold chain continues to grow as more standards and solutions become available.
In July, the International Air Transport Association issued the latest Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR). PCR’s Chapter 17 includes the first substantive guidance for airlines on storage and transport best practices for sensitive drug shipments.
Concurrent to the guidance, the airlines are lining up with cold chain products that conform with the guidance and meet the requirements of drug shippers. American Airlines Cargo formally unveiled its ExpediteTC service for providing high priority handling and visibility for pharma cargo. United Airlines announced it launched a new cold chain service with systems in place for conforming to Chapter 17.
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In addition, British Airways World Cargo reports it is the first European cargo carrier to be awarded Quality Envirotainer Provider (QEP) Accreditation for Constant Climate, its temperature-controlled product for pharmaceuticals. Envirotainer developed its QEP/CEP Training and Quality Program to help healthcare companies identify service providers capable of properly managing shipments using Envirotainer containers. Accreditation as a QEP demonstrates that a service provider meets the obligations as defined in current Good Distribution Practices guidance documents and is awarded following a thorough audit by Envirotainer.
Five British Airways World Cargo Constant Climate stations—London Heathrow, Rome, New York JFK, Tel Aviv, and Hyderabad—have now been accredited under the QEP program with plans for future accreditations across all 60 Constant Climate stations.
Stuart Forsyth, global product manager, BA World Cargo, explained: “Since we launched Constant Climate in July 2006 we have been committed to delivering Good Distribution Practice and we are delighted to have now achieved QEP Accreditation. This has been achieved through significant effort in procedure development, conformance, audit and training, as well as a proven track record in handling temperature sensitive pharmaceutical shipments within the Constant Climate service. We plan to extend our quality management procedures across our entire Constant Climate network and we are confident that our product and service will continue to deliver significant benefits to pharmaceutical logistics suppliers.”
Pharmapack 2010 exhibitors will also be supporting efforts to maintain the cold chain throughout air, land, and sea travel. Coldpack, in Booth D9, has announced its Pharmaceutical Pouch, a high-performance inflatable thermal envelope using Coldpack’s award-winning AirLiner technology to ensure that sensitive pharmaceutical shipments remain within the necessary temperature range of +2°C to +8°C during the transportation period.
“With Coldpack’s new Pharmaceutical Pouch, vaccine and biological materials shippers can trust that their valuable cargo will arrive protected and on temperature,” said Etienne P. Snollaerts, CEO of Coldpack. “This enhanced product offering is an extension of our commitment to consistently deliver sustainable thermal insulated packaging solutions. The Pharmaceutical Pouch is the first of many new products Coldpack plans to debut in the coming year.”
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