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Insulated packaging for pharmaceutical products: adopt a patient-centric initiative!

In response to patients who have become decision-makers โ€“ because they are better informed โ€“ manufacturers of pharmaceutical products are increasingly opting for a patient-orientated or patient-centric initiative. This involves responding to their needs and expectations by offering dedicated products and services. Here is an illustration regarding the management of medicines transported via the cold chain.

Benefits of adopting a patient-centric initiative

A new relationship between pharmaceutical companies and patients

A new relationship between pharmaceutical companies and patients has been established: patients are now at the heart of the healthcare system, involved and consulted by pharmaceutical companies in the various phases of drug development.

For their part, pharmaceutical companies are putting in place resources to ensure proper monitoring of treatments and to facilitate patients' daily lives, particularly through digital tools. 

Thanks to a detailed study of patients' behaviour and even their genetic make-up, laboratories are now going well beyond the drug itself: personalised treatments, patient support programmes from the start of therapy, exchange platforms, patient meetings. It is no longer just a matter of providing a treatment and adapting the patient to it, but of tailoring treatments to the type of patient.

This is a win-win relationship that allows laboratories to develop medicines more quickly that are adapted to patients' expectations, and patients to benefit from tailor-made treatments accompanied by appropriate monitoring.


Cold chain medicines: 3 key points to educate and equip patients

This new approach must also be reflected in the way treatment is delivered - which is just as important as the treatment itself. 

With the growth of chronic diseases worldwide - cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancers - more and more treatments need to be kept in cold storage.

From 2011 to 2017, the number of heat-sensitive health products increased by 45%: 1 in 2 medicines placed on the market is heat-sensitive!

However, there is still a need to educate and equip patients when treatments need to be kept in a cold chain. 

1. Non-compliance with the cold chain for medicines is costly

Financial losses due to temperature excursions of medicines transported in cold chains are estimated at 35 million dollars per year*, between :

  • The cost of lost product value (remember that biotech products are expensive products),
  • The cost of analysing the causes of the loss, 
  • The cost of replacing the products, 
  • the cost of replacing the products,
  • the cost of lost logistics.

It is true that setting up a process for managing the cold chain from the place of production of medicines to distribution to the patient can be complex and represents an investment, but this investment is nothing compared to the risk of financial and human losses that a break in the cold chain would represent.

2. Maximising patient adherence to treatment

50% of American and European patients do not take their prescribed treatments because of the complexity of managing their treatment on a daily basis, stress and lack of information and support.

And for heat-sensitive treatments, the problem is all the more serious as these are mostly related to long-term conditions. 

Lack of adherence to a treatment entails significant risks for the patient: risks of complications, repeated hospitalisations, and even death.

It is therefore essential to communicate, to raise awareness of the cold chain for health products and to make patients' daily lives easier by also focusing on the way treatments are delivered. 

3. An informed and equipped patient is a well-cared-for patient

A medicine exposed to inappropriate temperature conditions during transport or storage can be at best ineffective, at worst harmful to the patient.

And there are many risks of temperature excursions before the medicine reaches the patient. This is even more the case when the treatment is placed in the hands of the patient without the latter being informed of the challenges of respecting the cold chain and equipped accordingly.

It is therefore very important to provide patients with appropriate isothermal solutions to ensure the integrity of the medicines.

Whether they are picking up a treatment at the pharmacy, taking their treatment to work or travelling, the length of the journey does not matter, the medicine must be kept within the required temperature range as much as possible.

Supporting patients in the day-to-day management of their temperature-sensitive medicines is essential to ensure the success of the treatment and the safety of the patient. 

Would you like some assistance with your patient-centric initiative? Get in touch with our experts!


* Source: Cargo Sense, Cold Chain Shipping Loss in Pharmaceuticals โ€“ 2014