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Medicines & cold chain: Sofrigam is committed right up to the last mile – the patient

08 February 2017

Even if the cold chain is strictly followed, the final few minutes in hospital or at the pharmacy can be critical. Sofrigam has developed specific solutions to guarantee the integrity of medicines up until they are administered to the patient.

pharmacy, medicine, cold chain compliance

Specially designed packaging solutions guaranteeing the storage of medicines

Sofrigam has been a key player in the pharmaceutical cold chain for almost 40 years. Sofrigam’s engineers and technical teams assist pharmaceutical laboratories in the management of their supply chain of biomedicines (medicines originating from life sciences), vaccines, insulins, cancer drugs, and even organs and stem cells thanks to customized insulated packaging solutions.

Logistical circuits can vary in complexity depending on whether they are national, transnational or international, with varying numbers of individuals involved. Globally, Sofrigam packaging solutions allow pharmaceutical production centres to transport medicines from the production site to healthcare establishments (hospitals, pharmacies) which dispense or administer them to patients without compromising the cold chain.

However, management of the cold chain does not end once the medicine is delivered to the hospital central pharmacy or dispensary. It involves maintaining the integrity of the medicine until it is given or administered to the patient. Sofrigam has developed specific insulated packaging solutions to support this last link in the medicine supply chain.

Hospital: insulated solutions adapted to inter-departmental management delays

In a hospital environment, medicines are dispatched to different healthcare departments. If the hospital is equipped with a pneumatic tube transmission system, the medicine is quickly transported to the destination department. However, if it is heat-sensitive, it must then be quickly recovered by the care teams so that it can be put back in a refrigerated cabinet or administered to the patient immediately.

In any case, it is always wise to avoid the risks of breaking the cold chain and use an insulated solution adapted to pneumatic capsule transportation. This solution has been developed by Sofrigam’s R&D teams specifically for hospitals.

medicine cold chain, hospital medicine transportation, cold chain compliance.

Insulated case for shipments by pneumatic tube

For healthcare establishments or internal departments which do not use this pneumatic transportation system, a cooling bag or an insulated shuttle box with pre-frozen eutectic plates are very effective solutions for keeping the medicine cold during inter-departmental transfers.

Pharmacy: maintaining the cold chain, from the pharmacy to the home of the patient


In pharmacies, cold chain medicines are taken care of on delivery by pharmacists and put in a refrigerated cabinet (whether professional or not). The problem arises at the time of dispensing medicines to patients.

Indeed, even if the cold chain has been observed up to the point the medicine arrives at the pharmacy, these efforts to ensure the integrity of the medicine may be in vain if it is not observed until it reaches the home of the patient. Just the time it takes to dispense the medicine is enough for it to rise to a temperature of more than +5°C!

The temperature rise is extremely rapid for two reasons:

  • on average medicines are generally exposed to a room temperature of more than +20°C,
  • they are packaged in small containers.

    Now, this temperature rise is especially dangerous because it is invisible. This is why Sofrigam’s cold chain expert engineers have developed a reusable insulated pouch for the transportation of heat-sensitive medicines from the pharmacy to the home of the patient.

    pharmacy cold chain, cold medicine transportation, vaccine transportation, insulin transportation.

    Insulated pouch for the transportation of medicines
    from the pharmacy to home of the patient

    The pharmacist stores it in a refrigerated cabinet and only takes it out at the time of dispensing the medicine to the patient so that the medicine is exposed for the shortest time possible to a temperature above +5°C. Thanks to the gel packs in the insulated pouch, the medicine is kept cool, between +2°C and +8°C; this gives the pharmacist time to serve the patient without compromising the cold chain.

    Don’t take risks with the medicine cold chain, use the expertise of the Sofrigam teams!

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    Biotechnologist

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