- International Airlines Group (IAG) has made permanent its trial program for must-fly cold chain pharmaceuticals, Air Cargo World reported. Pharmaceutical shippers now have the option of choosing “Critical” — the highest-priority status available within the IAG Cargo network.
- Test flights of the Constant Climate Critical plan first appeared across India, the U.K. and Europe, considered the busiest routes within the global pharmaceutical supply chain. The success of that plan resulted in an array of test customers signing on as repeat customers.
- Company executives say the development of the Constant Climate Critical plan allows the company to add to its service offerings by providing vaccines and emergency medications with a must-fly status.
The necessity of perfect visibility and exacting storage within the cold chain for pharmaceutical transport is a fundamental element for those classes drugs. A recent report from Berlinger reveals how poor handling and storage during transport and logistics may cause a drug's potency to fluctuate or fail, and even cause toxicity due to degradation triggers within the formula. Carriers have drastically increased their level of care in their transport efforts to ensure the viability of sensitive formulations.
The FDA has also recognized this need. By instituting serialization and unique device identification regulations upon the industry, the FDA hopes to better regulate the variety of temperatures a drug could face, and thus provide early recognition of its health or damage. Though this requires changes in labeling, processing and packaging, reports of drugs transported in the five most common packaging technologies demonstrated that none maintained the 36° to 46°F temperature range required.
Of particular importance for medications is the last mile. At this vulnerable stage, shippers must pay careful attention, as this is when packages are most likely rto face uncertain conditions such as temperature fluctuations and potential damage. Attention to detail is especially important during extreme weather events in the winter and summer, when drugs may be left on cold doorsteps or stuffed in hot mailboxes if driveways are impassable.