Cold chain is a rapidly growing segment in the packaging industry. New innovations are allowing companies to embrace temperature-controlled packaging solutions while maintaining low costs and supporting sustainability.
Read on to discover how cold chain packaging plays a crucial role in all segments of life science, from drug development to distribution.
Even before a new pharmaceutical product enters the market, the way it’s packaged is extremely important.
While clinical trials don’t require the high volume of packaging associated with production and distribution, they do require high-quality packaging solutions to prevent product damage.
Packaging issues that result in spoilage prevent drugs from being tested. This slows the medication coming to market which has a significant financial and opportunity cost to pharmaceutical companies.
High-end cold chain packaging is needed for clinical trials, which can often require a temperature-controlled duration of up to 96 – 120 hours.
Solutions must pass the most stringent testing processes as each shipment is transported with data loggers to ensure drug efficacy.
These premium cold chain solutions are often re-used as they can be very expensive as they use higher-level insulation and phase change materials.
Drug manufacturers can cost-justify these solutions because it helps protect their R&D investment and ensure valuable medications make it to market quickly.
A few examples of cold chain packaging solutions well-suited for clinical trials include Sonoco ThermoSafe’s Orion Reuse Packaging, Cold Chain Technologies’ Kooltemp Renew, and Pelican BioThermal’s Credo Cube solutions, just to name a few.
Once a drug goes into production, shipping to retailers, pharmacies, and healthcare organizations in an efficient, cost-effective way is critical.
Ideally, you would stock up on packaging materials to be prepared for spikes in demand and unavoidable supply chain delays.
However, with warehouse real estate at a premium, the physical space required for storing bulky cold chain packaging, like EPS coolers, has traditionally been cost-prohibitive.
Innovations – both product breakthroughs and new packaging services – can help mitigate the challenge of cold chain inventory management.
New cold chain solutions, like Temperpack’s ClimaCell, Sonoco ThermoSafe EOS, and Foam Fabricator’s Paper Fiber, feature temperature-controlled box liners that ship and store flat until you’re ready to use them, saving you on freight costs and warehouse space in your facility. This helps reduce the overhead expense of warehousing bulky Styrofoam coolers.
Crown Packaging takes this a step further by offering local warehousing and just-in-time delivery of your packaging supplies. With these services, companies can operate using lean principles and keep costs to a minimum without having to sacrifice quality or risk product spoilage. It’s a win-win.
Crown can even help with kitting, grouping thermal liners with the right size boxes, to help companies achieve even higher volumes at lower costs.
Patients who rely on getting their medications via mail expect them to be delivered right away.
Specialty and mail-order pharmacies can benefit from the same solutions as drug manufacturers (low-footprint packaging materials, local inventory management, and just-in-time packaging supply delivery) to maximize efficiency while keeping costs low.
Patients not only expect that their medicine is shipped quickly and safely, but that it’s also shipped sustainably.
Across industries, consumers are demanding that products are packaged using eco-friendly materials that can be easily recycled. The life science industry is no exception.
Patients don’t want to deal with plastics that are difficult to recycle but want to do their part in supporting sustainability, so recyclable medication and pharmaceutical packaging is quickly becoming the norm for mail-order pharmacies.
This is another great use case for solutions like ClimaCell by TemperPack. According to the TemperPack website, “with excellent thermal performance and a competitive cost structure, [ClimaCell] is the ideal replacement for unsustainable insulators, like Styrofoam®. ClimaCell represents our understanding of the insulation market and seeks to improve the category by pushing it toward a more sustainable future.”
Other examples of eco-friendly options for pharmaceutical packaging include Sonoco ThermoSafe’s EOS solution and Foam Fabricators’ Paper Fiber Shipper.
No matter what part of life sciences your company operates in, there is a cold chain solution designed to improve your packaging process.
Contact Crown Packaging to learn about new cold chain innovations and find out how better packaging can support your business goals