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While any distribution, logistics, or supply chain process comes with its own demands and challenges, pharmaceutical transportation and storage has a stricter set of regulations than many other industries.

Between the inherent need to keep goods safe, consumable, and usable, and the combination of local, state, and federal regulations that govern how these goods can be transported, pharmaceutical storage is an ever-evolving goal. 

Despite complications, pharmaceutical transportation and storage is still a goal for many warehouses, and with proper optimization of your pharmaceutical supply chain, you can better manage these changes and navigate the pharma landscape more easily.

 

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Optimization Tips

 

Understand the regulatory requirements involved

Beyond any actual, physical storage issues, compliance with all pharmaceutical regulations and requirements is a mandatory fact of life for any pharmaceutical warehouse. 

These regulations can take many forms (FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and the DSCSA Overview being some of the biggest factors to consider), but they tend to cover similar ground in these (and related) needs:

  • Electronic record storage and protection
  • Physical record storage, necessitating high density storage for long-term record retrieval
  • Supply chain visibility from end-to-end
  • Recent tracking of all medicinal products passing through a facility

By understanding the requirements for storing and managing pharmaceuticals, you can get a better idea of the standards your record storage needs to meet and how to plan out the rest of your supply chain.

 

Be aware of the handling methods for each product

Pharmaceuticals can take many forms, from pills to powders to liquids and ointments. Accordingly, you’ll need to make sure you provide storage for each type of product you may encounter. Sterile medical shelving can provide a great way to store dry goods, but for temperature-controlled products, you’ll need to provide both an environment where these goods can be stored, and rust resistant shelves that can handle the conditions therein. 

Providing this storage, as well as properly training your teams on how to use this storage, can help the entire pharma supply chain & logistics process flow more smoothly. 

 

Clarify your role in the supply chain 

Pharmaceutical supply chains tend to require a few more steps than supply chains for more ‘normal’ retail products, due to the care with which the items need to be handled. These steps include:

  • Manufacturing at drug production sites
  • Delivery to wholesale distributors
  • Stocking at retail and mail-order pharmacies
  • Price negotiation

 

Odds are, if you run a warehouse that can offer pharmaceutical storage, you’ll be involved somewhere in the first three steps of the process. If you offer storage for manufacturing, you may need to offer more space or a larger degree of storage to accommodate for the sheer volume of product being created. 

Otherwise, if you work as a local distributor for either wholesale pharmaceuticals or a specific retailer, you’ll want to focus more on offering a variety of storage for the number of products they carry and how to provide a more geographically convenient solution for faster product delivery.

 

Keep open communication with your vendors

As always, prompt communication with your vendors and suppliers is crucial. If you receive product from other manufacturers, try to keep safety stock or find backup providers for more popular goods to avoid stock-outs or delays. If you’re the main distributor for a certain medicinal product, make sure to keep open lines of communication among your customers to make sure they’re aware of any potential delays in your shipments so they can prepare.

 

Are you looking for additional warehouse storage for your pharmaceuticals? Contact Shelving Inc today!

 

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