Glauser: More data on cold chain will support safer medications

Geoffrey Glauser, a consultant with a vaccine and therapeutic supply chain contractor, recently said that the focus of the cold chain for medications and other temperature-sensitive products should always be on patient and product safety.

Conceptual Mindworks, Inc. is a contractor for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The company helps BARDA to coordinate research and development for new diagnostics, vaccines and drugs related to biological pathogens that could be used in a natural or terrorist attack. One of the ways it helps BARDA is by assisting in research related to the cold chain, Packaging World reports.

The cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain that keeps medication, produce and other materials within the appropriate temperature range while in transport. In the pharmaceutical industry, the cold chain is typically between two degrees Celsius and eight degrees Celsius.

In discussing the key issues of temperature-sensitive shipping, Glauser said that while patient and product safety is the most important, a focus is more often placed on complying with regulations.

"The more one focuses on the safety and effectiveness of a medication, the more positive impact it will have on the medical malady," Glauser said, according to Packaging World. "That said, the key issues today appear to focus on regulatory compliance, particularly internationally where the standards have not solidified across the globe and are still being worked out within individual regulatory agencies."

Glauser said that in the next five to seven years, standards that regulate the cold chain may fall under a uniform methodology such as those used by the International Conference of Harmonization, Packaging World reports.