Preserving Efficacy of Temperature Sensitive Medicines-Logistics Management in Pharmaceutical Supply Chains
Protecting the efficacy of temperature-sensitive drugs is a real challenge especially for the countries with hot climates. Over-the-counter medicines have recommended storage-temperature of around 20-30 °C, while ambient temperature in most metropolitan areas of Pakistan reach around 40-50 ° C in summers, even under the shade. Other temperature-sensitive medicines require storage at around 4-8 °C. A reputation of spurious drugs due to mismanagement with regard to transport and storage also goes contrary to the interests of the pharmaceutical sector. This research investigates the preservation and storage of temperature-sensitive medicines in its specialized supply-chain (referred to as "cold chain") and finds that while the import of active ingredients is rather well managed and controlled with storage at within the desired temperatures; the distribution-chain needs to be more adaptive of the standards in-order to better preserve efficacy of the medicines. Nevertheless, long hours of power black-outs (a common occurrence in Pakistan and other developing nations) further guarantee the deterioration of temperature-sensitive medicines stored at the chemist-shops. It is therefore, recommended that temperature-sensitive medicines should only be dispensed from stores that have standby-power.