One of the biggest challenge that pharmaceutical industries are facing is transportation of time dependent and temperature sensitive drugs to various countries due to variation in geographic conditions and lack of adequate infrastructure. Cold Chain Logistics is the temperature controlled storage and distribution of pharmaceutical products, blood plasma products, tissues and chemicals within the country or across the globe to ensure a proper shelf life with the help of compressor technology.
The preferable temperature range for pharmaceutical products lies within 2 °Cto 8 °C. Various modes which can be used as a cold chain logistics includes refrigerated trucks, reefer cars and reefer ships containers.Most of the drugs used as dermatological therapies, birth control pills, anti-depression drugs, neurostimulating drugs and others are mostly heat sensitive by nature and may cause adverse reaction if consumed.
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According WHO the global pharmaceutical market is valued at USD 300 billion and is expected to grow by USD 400 billion within 3 years. India, a leading player in global healthcare industry earns around 60% of its pharmaceuticalrevenues through exports which grew by 19% between 2008 and 2012.With such a high growth and demand, healthcare logistics market is also likely to grow to meet the global demand. Rise in biopharmaceuticals in the country with companies such as Biocon and Serum Institute have also led to increased demand for cold chain logistics. The major growth drivers for healthcare cold chain logistics includes the growing demand for quality and cost effective drugs in developing and underdeveloped countries, varying climatic conditions, feasibility to online documentations related to export and import.
Changing worldwide epidemiological profile of people is likely to increase demand for cardiovascular, central nervous and other chronic disease drugs and demand for generic drugs & vaccines will definitely boost the demand for healthcare logistics in coming years. Whereas lack of funds and cold chain infrastructure in underdeveloped & many developing countries are major restrains for the healthcare cold chain logistics market.
The global healthcare cold chain logistics market is categorized based on the following:
- By products
- Clinical trial materials
- By techniques
- Dry ice
- Liquid nitrogen
- Gel packs
Some of the major companies in healthcare cold chain logistics include DHL International GmbH, FedEx Corporation, Kuehne and Nagel International AG, LifeConEx, LLC, Continental Air Cargo, United Parcel Service Inc., DB Schenker, Inc. and World Courier.
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