Trusted Cold Chain Medication Distribution with Medvantx
As a non-commercial dispensing pharmacy, Medvantx overcomes many hurdles to get medications to the patients who need them. One challenge is delivering prescriptions that require constant refrigeration between two to eight degrees Celsius, also known as cold chain. These medications can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and are vital to the patients who receive them daily.
Understanding Cold Chain
There are a variety of medications that require refrigeration, including drugs like insulin that patients inject directly, or infusion products that must be administered in a doctor’s office. A number of conditions from diabetes to certain cancers, to multiple sclerosis or other diseases, may all require prescription cold chain drugs.
To deliver cold chain medications, packers and distributors must independently verify that their shipping methods can maintain specific temperatures for a given period, usually around 48 hours. Boxes are kept cold with special packing materials including frozen ice bricks and gels. “There can be a drug stored in a single vial within a three-inch-by-three-inch box, and it will need to be shipped in a box that’s two-feet-by-two-feet due to the refrigerated packing materials contained within,” explains Micah Benford, PharmD and chief medical affairs officer for Medvantx. These packing requirements are instrumental in safely delivering medications to the patients who need them.
Cold Chain Challenges
Medications that need consistent cold temperatures pose unique challenges for dispensing pharmacies. According to Benford, “as a mail order pharmacy, our primary concern is keeping cold chain medication at the proper temperature throughout the duration of shipment to delivery to the patient.”
Packing and shipping cold chain drugs requires large storage facilities with coolers for medications and separate freezers for shipping materials. Once cold chain medications are packed, they need to be shipped quickly to ensure they get to patients on time. Not timing the delivery correctly could impact a patient or doctor’s office administering medications as prescribed. Medvantx is uniquely positioned to ship medications quickly to keep cold chain medications at the correct temperatures from packing to delivery.
Medvantx for Your Cold Chain Needs
Medvantx utilizes two main distribution facilities, one in Sioux Falls, SD and another in Louisville, KY. Using these facilities, Medvantx is capable of dispensing cold chain prescriptions to all 50 states and territories, including Hawaii and Alaska.
One major benefit of utilizing two cold chain facilities is that Medvantx isn’t susceptible to the pitfalls of major weather events or natural disasters that can cause disruptions to distribution lines. That way, if a major disruption affects one facility, the other one is able to step in and fulfill prescriptions so that patients don’t experience a gap in coverage. This applies to cold chain medications as well, which require added attention.
Each Medvantx pharmacy has ample cold chain storage, with multiple temperature-controlled coolers. This is vital for cold chain distribution, as the facilities need to house not only the medications, but the packing and cooling materials that accompany each prescription. As Benford noted, often the frozen ice packs or gels used to cool prescriptions in transit take up more space than the actual medication. That requires the infrastructure to house a significant volume of refrigerated items. Each of our warehouses are equipped with backup generators as well so that any power outage will not result in medication spoilage.
In addition to our unique facilities that provide industry-leading cold chain fulfillment capabilities, Medvantx also has safety measures in place to maintain medication temperatures that go above and beyond industry standards. Our internal process ensures that no drugs are out of a refrigerated environment for more than 45 minutes during the fulfillment process. This maintains the integrity of the cold chain prescription for optimal effectiveness upon delivery.
Today, Medvantx fulfills roughly 25,000 cold chain prescriptions monthly and close to 40 percent of our dispensed medications are cold chain. We have the experience and expertise to dispense a wide variety of cold chain prescriptions across the United States. With a track record of 99.99% accuracy in prescription fulfillment, Medvantx is a trusted expert in cold chain medication packing and distribution. In addition, Medvantx and Cold Chain Technologies, partner on some manufacturer programs.