LOGISTICS: A total meltdown
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the pharma sector’s dependence on the cold chain for vaccine distribution. Hundreds of thousands of cold storage devices are being used to ship vaccines worldwide, while local ‘fridge farms’ have been rolled out to house deliveries. But is there another way? Lynette Eyb speaks to David Hipkiss, CEO of Enesi Pharma, and looks at the development of delivery technologies that may one day help reduce vaccine waste and refine – even revolutionise – cold storage in a rapidly warming world.
Covid-19 has obliterated any concept of the status quo. It’s laid bare inadequacies across our healthcare and economic models, and smashed preconceived notions of best practices and gold standards. Nowhere are these cracks more evident than in supply chains, which have struggled to respond with the agility needed during such a global crisis. As vaccination efforts accelerate to stem further waves of infections, question marks hang over the future of the entire cold chain. How can our current system keep pace with temperature-dependent RNA technology as the world moves beyond Covid-19? And as the importance of cutting global greenhouse gas emissions becomes ever more painfully clear, do we really want to be shipping medicines around the world in energy-sucking refrigeration devices?
For the moment, necessity is the mother of invention. Drug manufacturer Pfizer has become not only a producer of mRNA vaccine technology, but also a distributor of cold storage units. So-called ‘fridge farms’ have popped up in hospital car parks and warehouses worldwide to store life-saving vaccines as they await administration. Companies like Italy’s Desmon have risen to the challenge, prototyping deep freeze units that can maintain temperatures for up to 30 hours without electricity, while at the same time storing as many as 180,000 doses... Read full article>>