Cold Chain Storage to protect the integrity of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals
With the heralded arrival of COVID vaccines, we have heard the term “Cold Chain Storage” a lot. This is a process whereby temperature sensitive medications are shipped to preserve the integrity/potency of the product. Vaccines, in general, are temperature sensitive and need to always be shipped at the correct temperature-or risk becoming ineffective. As we saw initially with the Pfizer vaccine, this was quite a feat getting the vaccine shipped by trucks or planes, while being kept in a very cold environment.
Another temperature sensitive medication that doesn’t often get stored correctly is insulin.
A cold chain that is broken can result in:
1.Degredation of product
2. Loss of potency
3. Waste of money due to damaged product
4. Patient Harm
Insulin, like vaccines belong to a group of medications know as biologics -which means they are made from living organisms or its’ products. Vaccines, of course , are monitored with a thermometer and alarm system so that any temperature deviations can be promptly addressed. Most patients who use insulin do not pay as careful attention to temperature storage as they should, and therefore may be using insulin products that are less effective, or in some cases even ineffective.
Although this has been a long-standing problem for patients using insulin, very little is written in the literature about how improper storage of insulin products can lead to patient harm. Very often patients have to find out their insulin has gone bad when they see a trend of rising blood sugars that can’t be explained. This can take hours or even days of frustration adjusting insulin doses and food.
Educating patients is the key to proper insulin use. Not only should patients be aware of how insulin is dosed, the difference between basal and bolus insulin, and insulin injection technique -but patients should always be aware of where their insulin pen is being kept. Is it exposed to direct sunlight, is the home air conditioned in the summer, is the insulin kept in a purse or school locker.
There is one way to feel confident that your insulin pen is not exposed to temperature extremes, and will work as it should. That would be by using a patented device known as VIVI Cap. This device serves as the cap for your insulin pen -keeping it at the proper storage temperature while you carry your pen with you. Cold Chain Storage is important to keep medications safe when going from the manufacturer to the pharmacy. With such an emphasis on the safety of medications that require proper temperature storage-it is hard to imagine most people do not realize that temperature must be maintained while the product is in use.
Our mission is to increase awareness of proper insulin use and storage to help patients stay healthy and safe. Our mission is to ensure the safety of temperature sensitive medications-and always remain focused on patient health and well-being.
Don’t forget that at TempraMed we are here to protect you and your insulin and to keep you safe.