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Selection of Cold Chain Monitoring Solution Series #2: Cold Chain Monitoring from A to B to Z

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

In this part of our multi-part series, Mark Roemer discusses the importance of cold chain monitoring and solutions that inform if your shipment is secure and safe from counterfeiting. He provides his take on the future of loggers being used in shipment boxes. Take a listen to hear his thoughts and the solutions he provides!

Mark Roemer:

One of the big issues is at this point most logging is done on pallet-based shipments. And the trend in the coming five years is going to shift from pallets to boxes. The boxes will be the final stage where people want to monitor the temperature and arrival. And I want to monitor books, integrity, and the book's integrity is specifically important for cases of counterfeit.

And you mentioned the number of a hundred billion dollars a year lost to counterfeiting. I found some research that put that number way higher at $220 billion dollars a year. The numbers are staggering and it's basically lost profit for all of the pharmaceutical industry that is subject to this counterfeit.

Most counterfeit is happening in Latin America, Africa, India, and also Indonesia. These are large markets and significant parts of this counterfeit are going on in pills for malaria. This may seem like a low price product, but the volume, the sheer volume of those malaria pills is enormous.

The profit is also enormous counterfeit operations. Integrity monitoring is one of the things that's going to be going to see a large uptake. The other thing is that because of the volume, you just want to be able to monitor it without involving a lot of human costs. So it's not feasible to start scanning all boxes manually.

You need a solution that can, again, work with multiple boxes and I'm not talking about 10 boxes or 20 boxes, but one that works with thousands of boxes and is still economically feasible. So, what do you want? Do you want everything automated, minimal or no human interaction? Do you want to be able to support many locations and destinations?

You don't want specific hardware to be shipped to all those locations. You want to be able to use whatever is present. In the case of online, you just ship the modem to all your destinations (which is quite an expensive operation), or you want to use something like a smartphone that can collect the data and put it in a central repository like Bluetooth. So that's the scale of the operation, as it says here it actually requires no human interaction because that will definitely hamper the rollout and the complexity. It will be off the scale, so it needs to be something very simple.

Instead of looking at one chain of the whole logistic chain, we looked at it from an integrated perspective. The whole future that we foresee is that people will start putting loggers in, at a manufacturing site of the GMP location. And that logger is going to stay in that box, connected to that box with the falsified medicine directive code on the outside where we can also store information of that box in the back office.

We know what product, expiration date, and lot numbers are in that box. And we can also store serialization codes. So it's very it's an integrated solution. And on the other part, we have the possibility to check whether or not the box is opened using a light sensor.

We can also check the integrity of the box. You have a complete shipping module from the GMP site up until the pharmacy, where is the box is going to be open. So you have the full chain of custody and you have all this data.

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