It’s National Yo-Yo Day!

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temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals


What do yo-yo’s, the stock market and temperatures have in common?

They all go up and down.

Not exactly funny, but in the world of pharmaceutical distribution in the cold chain, maintaining constant shipment temperature despite fluctuating ambient temperatures is serious business. It can mean the difference, literally, between life and death.

The Cause…

During transit, a consignment could be affected by ambient temperatures that can yo-yo up and down by as much as 60°C during a given shipment. It is, therefore, essential that the temperature inside the sealed container with your precious cargo stays at a constant temperature and, more importantly, that the temperature can be easily monitored and logged throughout the journey.

The Cost…

It is currently estimated that 25% of all transportation losses in the pharma industry are a result of temperature excursions. With the use of temperature-sensitive biopharmaceuticals continuing to rise, the potential losses cannot be sustainable for pharma companies, healthcare professionals, governments and patients.

The South Sudanese government announced on Friday, June 2 that fifteen children under the age of five  died, partially as a result of an administered measles vaccine not being kept at the recommended temperature.

A tragedy, made even more so, because the simple use of the right packaging and handling, could have prevented it.

The CSafe Answer

As an example, CSafe was responsible for a pharmaceutical shipment that was collected from a factory in Israel and transported by air freight from Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv, to Newark Liberty Airport, USA, and then onward by truck to its final destination. The product in the shipment required a Controlled Room Temperature (CRT) environment, thus the payload needed to stay at a relatively constant 20°C throughout the 43 hour journey.

The goods were transported by temperature controlled truck to the airport’s storage facility where it was loaded into CSafe RKN containers which were set to 20°C. Though the CSafe has an onboard data logger, the client attached data loggers to each skid and the CSafe RKN units were sealed and stored overnight.

The CSafe RKN has an external digital display that not only allows real time viewing of internal temperature, but monitors and records incidents that could affect the product temperature. The internal temperature of the goods varied by no more than 0.1°C at any point in time over the 43 hour journey, despite the ambient temperature fluctuating by 35°C during this shipment’s transit.

In Newark, customs and US Government Regulatory Authorities could easily see that the temperature had been held constant and, despite the ambient temperatures, the CSafe unit was unaffected. The shipment was transported by truck to its destination in perfect condition and the RKN’s battery life was never challenged.

Keeping goods at 20°C could have been a challenge for the freight forwarder and the pharmaceutical manufacturer because many air freight solutions are not designed to allow this flexibility in set-points. In stark contrast, CSafe containers can be accurately set to The Right Temperature® (from 4°C all the way to 30°C) and then will maintain that payload set point throughout the delivery, even in extreme ambients from -30°C to +49°C. Ref. Mohr, Mark. 4/13, “Constant 20°C In Fluctuating Ambient Temperatures”

A yo-yo fluctuation of 35°C in ambient temperature is not an exception in pharmaceutical transportation and proves the need for every pharma shipment to have a superior temperature management during transit.