Many people require prescription drugs. Research has shown that 7 out of 10 people are prescribed some medication. Because of this high medication turnover, proper warehousing is necessary.
Poor medication storage can result in the death or poisoning of patients. It is crucial to understand how to store and package medication properly for the duration you need.
Medicine can save lives and help millions every day. Pharmaceutical warehouses must follow regulations when handling drugs. The medicine supply chain begins at the manufacturer and ends in the pharmacy. This supply chain includes the transportation and storage of medicine in various warehouses located in different parts of the country. The supply chain requirements for medication storage are different than those of other products.
Proper warehousing of pharmaceuticals will ensure that they are not damaged or contaminated. Only by keeping them in their original state can they benefit patients who wait at the end of the supply chain.
What is Pharmaceutical Warehousing?
Before drugs can be distributed to intended recipients, they must be appropriately stored. FDA says pharmaceuticals require proper storage to avoid counterfeits or interference with distribution channels. Everybody involved in drug warehousing needs to adhere to the CGMP.
These CGMPs apply to everyone involved in medicine supply chains, such as manufacturers, warehouses, distributors, and others. You must ensure that all drugs are correctly stored to prevent contamination. You must inspect and clean the storage areas regularly. Another necessary standard is to group drugs into lots and assign each lot a barcode that allows for traceability. It is also important to label the drugs as either rejected, under quarantine, approved for shipping, or both.
You will then have the distribution procedures of each drug in a clear format for everyone to see. If a drug is recalled, you should include the procedure. The written procedure detailing how each medication was stored should be included.
Adhering to CGMP standards in pharmaceutical warehousing is the most challenging area. There are many types of drugs. Each drug type has different storage and handling conditions. As a pharmaceutical warehouse, you need to meet all the drug’s needs in your storage facility. Also, ensure that the temperature is maintained at all times to prevent drug damage. This is why pharmaceutical warehouses are so complicated and expensive to manage. The extra cost comes from trying to store all the different drugs.
You can still improve your storage efficiency and storage capacity.
Tips for Improving Pharmaceutical Warehousing
1. Proper Space Planning
A warehouse can hold thousands of drugs. Each drug has its own storage requirements. A plan for your storage space should be prepared before you begin planning your pharmaceutical warehouse. You should know that drugs require a dry, cool place to store them and that some may need to be frozen.
You can only make your warehouse run efficiently by planning it from the beginning. Staff can also learn about the requirements of the supply chains from the start. You can also note when you require more space or less space to manage an increase in inventory.
2. Demand Planning
Although pharmaceuticals are required all year, it is possible to plan around the demand. You can stockpile cold medication during flu season. The same goes for allergy season. Your supply chain will run more efficiently if you plan for high demand times.
3. Bin Locations Concept
Pharmaceutic warehouses can be large and difficult to navigate. Bin location can be used to guide you through the various levels. Staff who need to locate a warehouse’s exact location can use bin locations.
4. Regular staff training
Technology is rapidly changing the pharmaceutical warehouse. Regular training is a great way to keep your staff current with changing times. Training helps staff learn about new software and the changes that are coming to the warehouse. It’s a great way to brainstorm solutions to problems that may be affecting your warehouse.
5. Cross-Docking: Take advantage
Some pharmaceuticals do not require extended storage. Cross-docking is a method where drugs are delivered and shipped immediately. This works well for high-demand medication.
6. Select a Partner for Pharmaceutical Warehousing
Each pharmaceutical warehouse operation needs the best logistic partner. You will notice a smooth operation once you have found the right partner. They must fulfill certain requirements when looking for a partner. They must be able to run a transparent and legitimate operation, as dealing with drugs can be very sensitive.
Their trucks should be kept clean and in good condition at all times. Because drugs are sensitive, they can easily be contaminated and could prove to be deadly to the recipients. Also, make sure that the logistics partner you choose is up-to-date with security measures to ensure safe shipping.
7. Proper Inventory Tracking
Because pharmaceuticals are sensitive, it is important to track inventory in transit and storage. The best inventory tracking system is essential for your supply chain. It allows your staff to keep track of all the items coming in and going out.
Because pharmaceutical warehousing requires a lot of expertise, it is more difficult. To ensure that the supply chain runs smoothly, it is important to work with the right logistics partner.
Before you dive into the details, make sure to calculate the cost of setting it up. Next, plan the setup of the entire warehouse. It doesn’t matter how big the operation is, it is important to plan the warehouse properly.