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Whether it’s raining or shining, temperature control is the cornerstone of high-quality pharmaceutical distribution

As pharmaceuticals require certain temperatures, temperature control is a prerequisite for high-quality distribution. In the Nordics, the seasonal temperature variation must also be considered, especially in transport. The medicinal products that are kept in cold temperatures are a special case and their handling requires first-rate cold chain.

9.6.2022

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Pharmaceuticals are temperature sensitive products, which makes temperature control in the distribution chain key in ensuring product quality and safety. Most pharmaceuticals require handling and storage at room temperature, between 15 and 25 °C, which sets its own requirements for distribution in the Nordics due to seasonal temperature variation. For example in summertime warehouse facilities need to be cooled to ensure stable storing conditions.

Similarly, the significance of temperature control in transport is highlighted when the weather is hot or temperature drops below zero. This sets certain requirements for technology used in transport vehicles. Oriola’s transport partners are monitoring the temperature in the loadspace in real time with sensors, and in case of potential alerts, the driver adjusts the heating or cooling system.

Cool solution for cold products

In addition to medicinal products stored at room temperature, for example many vaccines, biomedicines and insulin require cooler temperature. Normal cold products are stored in 2-8 °C, but sometimes even freezer temperatures are required – the COVID-19 vaccines are probably the best-known example, but the same also applies to some hospital products.

The distribution of cold products requires high-quality cold chain. Oriola has extensive experience in handling cold products, and in Sweden we for example deliver most of all vaccines to vaccine clinics, healthcare, childcare and schools.

Oriola has renewed its cold chain in Finland and Sweden in recent years to increase operational reliability as well as storage capacity for cold products and speciality pharmaceuticals. Improvements included using more modern and energy efficient technology in cold facilities in warehouses. Additionally, new cold transport boxes were taken in use, which are validated to maintain required inner temperature for at least 30 hours. This ensures high-quality and safe cold deliveries as Oriola delivers pharmaceuticals within 24 hours from ordering.

Ensuring the safety of cold deliveries:

  • Cold products are packed for transport in separate validated cold transport boxes, which keep the inner temperature controlled in 2-8 °C for at least 30 hours.
  • The cold transport boxes are tested weekly by placing a sensor inside a box to monitor temperature during transport.
  • The storing temperature is separately marked in the address label of each transport box so that pharmacy staff can spot the cold products at the arriving delivery.