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The healthcare industry is one of America’s strongest economic forces today, and as such it involves a lot of moving parts.

These parts are literally moving, in some cases, as pharmaceutical goods frequently have a long way to travel en route to their final destination at a healthcare clinic, supermarket pharmacy, or over-the-counter cough medicine section. And during that journey, the odds are pretty good they’re going to make a stop at your warehouse along the way for either temporary or long-term storage.


Even if your warehouse is versed in the storage and handling of more hazardous or sensitive materials, receiving a shipment of pharmaceuticals can be a whole new venture with its own hurdles and challenges. There’s a greater focus on safety and regulatory compliance, and the demands on both your storage and your transportation partners can catch you off guard if you’re unprepared.

Here’s a few of our favorite tips and things to look out for when it comes to transporting or storing pharmaceuticals:


Understand exactly what you’re receiving

The world of pharmaceutical & medicinal products can be pretty widespread, and it can seem like each of them has their own method of transportation and storage. As your shipments come in, make sure to carefully review what products you’re expecting on each shipment, and which products are coming in which box. This can help prevent accidental cross-contamination, and can help prepare your team and department for what needs to be done to store any given item.


Read up on the regulations

Similarly, once you know what products you’re getting, you can do a better job reviewing the storage and transport regulations for each product. These can vary from FDA and DEA regulations for the transport of controlled substances (particularly over state lines, and even between counties in some cases), hazmat laws, and even the less-glamorous requirements like storage recommendations, refrigeration needs, exposure to light, and so on. This will make the next few steps much easier.


Provide designated storage

Once you’ve received your pharmaceutical products, you can then begin to figure out how and where to store them. Pharmaceutical product storage can take many forms, but for the most part you’ll need medical shelving designed for germ free storage, such as NSF plastic shelves or NSF wire shelving that can prevent germs or external elements from compromising the quality of the product. This would also be a good time to make sure your current storage options can handle whatever products you have incoming, in regards to cold storage or temperature/light regulations.


Get the right packaging when you need to ship it back out

Finally, transporting pharmaceuticals involves the same care when the products go back out as they do when they arrive. Make sure to provide safe boxes with plenty of packaging and cushioning to prevent the products from being damaged, and train your entire staff on the needed safety requirements for each product as far as avoiding contact with others and so on. Making sure they arrive to their destination safely is a key part of your job as a pharmaceutical warehouse, and your clients & partners will be eternally grateful when they get there safely.

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