One in every two vaccines shipped globally goes to waste, according to WHO estimates. This is one of the reasons biopharmaceuticals are some of the most insanely expensive products to develop, distribute, and purchase. As reported recently by Quartz, French health officials have confirmed that around 20 percent of Moderna and 25 percent of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines face the same fate.
The culprit? Poor temperature control and other cold chain logistics issues.
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers are a part of a handful of highly regulated industries in which temperature data must be monitored and documented across all critical points of the supply chain. Digital temperature data loggers can play a crucial role in this process.
Modern temperature data loggers have advanced by leaps and bounds since first entering the environmental monitoring scene in the early 1990s. Today, they are more reliable, compact, and versatile than ever, allowing for razor-accurate pharmaceutical environmental monitoring.
This article shines a quick spotlight on temperature data logger usage in the pharmaceutical industry. We’ll explore the key benefits pharma companies can expect to derive from using these all-important environmental data monitoring devices.
An Overview of Temperature Data Loggers in the Pharmaceutical Industry
A temperature data logger is an essential tool for cold chain logistics control and monitoring in the pharmaceutical industry. It’s used to collect, monitor, validate, and document variations in temperature and environmental data, all of which are essential to all aspects of the industry, from drug discovery & development to vaccine distribution.
Data loggers also serve as helpful quality assurance tools because they monitor environmental data within the biopharmaceutical ecosystem and throughout the cold chain. They are typically classed into a few different types:
Wireless temperature data loggers – These devices leverage wireless connectivity technologies such as WIFI, RFID, and Bluetooth to transfer data for viewing and analysis. Evidently, RFID data loggers, Bluetooth data loggers, and WIFI data loggers belong to this increasingly popular category. According to Dickson, wireless temperature data loggers can be extremely useful when continuous access to data is required.
USB temperature data loggers – These are compact, highly portable, and reusable temperature data loggers. They can be equipped with either an internal sensor or an external sensor. The distinguishing feature is that these devices interface with a computer via a USB flash drive.
Wired temperature data loggers – These loggers are usually standalone units with everything hardwired to an electronic unit. They’re great for remote monitoring where internet or mobile signals are nonexistent, spotty, or otherwise unreliable.
Web-based temperature data loggers – Considered the cream of the crop, web-based data loggers provide managers with 24/7 remote access to environmental data via any device. They can access and review data in real-time, and can generate temperature monitoring reports on the fly.
The Benefits of Temperature Data Loggers for Pharmaceutical Companies
1: Data Loggers Help Ensure Product Quality
It’s no secret that many people are not exactly fond of big pharma. Only 47 percent of Americans say they trust the industry according to the 2021 Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer survey. When you manufacture drugs and vaccines, you better convince people that your product is top-notch in terms of purity, quality, strength, and identity.
Temperatures that go outside of the required range can quickly degrade medicines, further eroding the confidence people have in a firm. Luckily for pharmaceutical companies, using suitable data loggers can ensure the product temperature remains consistent, which helps protect patient safety, guarantee audit compliance, and boost consumer confidence.
For pharmaceutical firms, consistent product quality is not a nice-to-have; it’s mandatory. And it doesn’t matter if you’re storing consumer-ready medications, transporting Covid-19 vaccines, or researching the next big therapeutic. Monitoring temperature data at every phase of the drug’s journey can help protect patients, your company’s bottom line, and valuable assets.
2: To Increase Operational Efficiency
Modern temperature data loggers are connected to cloud-based monitoring solutions that remove the need to manually read charts, download data, or go to each sensor. Instead, these loggers push data on temperature changes to a central data-storage location where it can be accessed by any relevant personnel, at any time, and from anywhere.
If that doesn’t sound like a breezy operation, cloud-based solutions allow those with permission to use any device to access and view environmental data. That means you can know whether a vaccine batch on its way to Alaska is being kept at the correct temperatures on your subway commute in Chicago.
To sweeten the deal even further, cloud-based data logger solutions can also save resources, time, and effort for your in-house IT crew because they no longer need to dedicate many hours to maintaining software and servers.
3: Data Loggers are an Integral Tool for Cold Chain Monitoring
Data loggers are used to track temperature vs. time data across all points in the cold supply chain. This is doubly important during transit, where you need monitoring data for validation and assurance that the medicines being shipped aren’t being exposed to regulated deviations.
Complete historical environmental data sets and reports are available via web-based interface and on-demand software analytics tools. Many pharmaceutical companies are using wireless temperature data loggers to ensure adherence to strict temperature limits by collecting minute-by-minute environmental data at every location in the cold chain process.
4: To Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Meeting regulatory requirements is among the top reasons why pharmaceutical organizations embrace digital temperature data loggers. After all, the pharmaceutical industry is replete with dynamic best practices, regulations, and stringent guidelines. They must follow strict rules set by the central agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Drug Enforcement Administration, and US Department of Agriculture.
Pharmaceutical organizations employ temperature data loggers to create digital logs and ensure continuous monitoring across the supply chain. The loggers help them efficiently meet regulatory requirements and minimize the odds of audit failure. With ongoing temperature data, pharmaceutical companies can provide regulators with the necessary records on consistency, plus evidence of how any deviations were resolved.
Temperature data loggers are indeed a life saver for pharmaceutical companies. Continuous temperature monitoring and digital records allow them to improve research efficiency, protect patients, pass audits and, of course, guarantee product quality.