Pharma Times: Thinking outside the box


Some thirty years ago, I fell into the rudimentary world of temperature control packaging as applied to the pharmaceutical sector.

I actually thought this would be short-term but little did I know I was right at the cutting edge of passive temperature control and transport validation through working with Lamina Medica, based in Tring, Hertfordshire.

I had the opportunity to work with figures such as Kevin Valentine and Tim Jennings, and also meeting well-respected MCA/MHRA inspectors such as John Taylor, whom many of us within the GxP community cite as being a key architect of good distribution practice. As part of a team during the mid-1990’s we were also forward- thinking enough to test phase change material coolants, while experimenting with and employing the use of nanopore insulation – a precursor to vacuum panel insulation technology (working with Doug M. Smith of Nanopore inc.).

In addition, we developed an array of temperature control packaging solutions and dared to trial bubble wrap filled with noble gases.

Several of the employees at this one company went on to startup companies such as Softbox Systems and Cool Logistics, and to join other leaders in the world of temperature control distribution, such as Thermosafe, Peli Biothermal and Envirotainer.

Learning curve

Having left Lamina Medica through to more recent times I had the chance to develop, learn, make mistakes and improve by working with a variety of organisations such as Envirotainer, Kuehne + Nagel, OBG Pharmaceuticals, The NHS Supply Chain/Unipart, MSI and Kammac. I also had the pleasure of learning from industry luminaries such as Peter Ulber, Magnus Welander, Chris Cavendish, Ged Carabini and Neil Smith.

Running parallel to this, I have witnessed first-hand the organic development of temperature control, cutting edge logistics, an expanding and more advanced GxP regulatory landscape and the greater exposure of this sub sector through written articles, forums and conferences.

This literally hit home during the COVID-19 pandemic when terms such as vaccines, cold chain, supply chain, MHRA and temperature control packaging were regularly quoted across news agencies.

If we look at the big picture, the global pharmaceutical market has experienced significant growth in recent years. For 2022, the total global pharmaceutical market was estimated at 1.48 trillion US dollars. This is only a slight increase from 2021 when the market was valued at 1.42 trillion US dollars. The top four therapeutic areas – oncology, anti-diabetics, immunosuppressants and vaccines – represent over 35% of this spend. Furthermore, high-growth niche areas include plasma products, cell/gene therapy and biosimilars.

If I fast forward to current time, joining Masters Speciality Pharma has taken all this work, life experience and continuous improvements of the GDP sub sector to operate effectively in the business.

The very essence of Masters is to be a leading Speciality global pharmaceturical company providing life-saving medicines to patients with unmet needs in emerging markets. This means employing a highly engaged, talented, committed, and cohesive work force that leverages cross- functionally.

This also translates to realising compliant sourcing, storing and distribution to very challenging destinations across the Middle East and the Caribbean.

Ultimately, it’s about maintaining the label claim of all products we source being for the purpose of our customers and, indeed, their end customers who are – of course – patients.

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