Specialty pharmacies have an acute need for visual temperature indicators on packages they ship, according to a recent study by pharmaceutical logistics specialist Modality Solutions.
The reasons are evident:
- Specialty medications typically require controlled temperatures.
- They may be shipped directly to patients.
- Packaging doesn’t adequately maintain temperature.
When Modality Solutions tested the ability of insulated bubble bags, insulated envelopes, insulated box liners, EPS panel sheet coolers, and EPS molded coolers to maintain temperature for 24 hours, all performed below expectations. Many performed below their own claims.
For example, when tested under ISTA 7D thermal profiles for winter conditions, each of the packaging methods allowed the contents to freeze within six hours. In summer conditions, insulated envelopes provided no benefit and EPS sheet panel coolers allowed the products freeze, thus damaging them. Insulated box liners performed best, keeping products at proper temperature for at least 18 hours. Those results are cause for concern – even more so when medications are delivered to mailboxes or left on front porches, thus prolonging their transit times and increasing their risk of temperature excursions.
Patients trust their medications were kept at safe temperatures throughout shipping, but, without visible indicators, they don’t really know. Temperature indicators attached to the medication packaging provide an accurate, highly visible, easy way to alert patients to excursions that can compromise the safety and efficacy of their medications.
For information about a variety of temperature monitoring solutions to help protect your specialty pharmaceutical shipments, contact ShockWatch.