3PL in Pharmaceutical Sample Fulfillment

Jul 29, 2020 | Pharma Forum

3PL in Pharmaceutical Sample Fulfillment

3PL (3rd-Party Logistics) plays a particularly critical role in the pharmaceutical product supply chain. Warehouse management in the pharmaceutical industry involves much more than simply moving pallets in and out of a large space. A high level of oversight and quality control ensures the proper handling, storage, and distribution of expensive and environmentally sensitive products. In addition, all protocols and practices must comply with local, state, and federal regulations. So, what exactly is 3PL in pharmaceutical sample fulfillment, and what do a warehouse and fulfillment services provide? Read on to learn about this segment’s critical role for the pharmaceutical industry.

Receiving Goods

Vigilance begins during transport and continues upon arrival. Consequently, when pharmaceutical products arrive at a warehouse designed to handle them properly, trained warehouse personnel inspect and assess for the following criteria:

• Carrier and driver are credentialing
• Contaminants, moisture, and odor
• Shipment is from the correct and/or approved supplier
• Damage or potential degradation
• Correct labeling
• Temperature and climate requirements

Personnel register pharmaceutical products in the inventory and identify them with an in-house tracking number. Then, products are segregated according to environmental need. The team separates damaged product from other inventory. Products shipped in Quality Hold status are quarantined and handled in compliance with Client specifications.

Safe & Appropriate Storage 

Pharmaceutical products are time and climate-sensitive. Therefore, they require reliable, environmentally controlled storage. Carefully moderated storage is critical, as so many people and animals rely on the integrity of pharmaceuticals. In general, cold storage temperatures, for both the refrigeration and freezing of product, require monitoring and logging. In addition, a warehouse needs an alarm system to indicate any problem or fluctuation. Clearly, temperature control plays a large part in quality storage. However, keen attention to humidity and light levels is also important. Even products that require ambient storage temperatures require calibrated devices to map and monitor conditions. Stored too close to a wall, sensitive products can degrade from invasive moisture. Also, photolytic products degrade from too much light.

Effective warehouse design keeps everything secure and organized. Proper protocols separate damaged, returned, quarantined and recalled products to prevent distribution. In this way, the fulfillment center maintains the high quality of sensitive pharmaceuticals.

Tracking & Documentation

From receiving to shipment, and through to the point of delivery, warehouse staff must account for the whereabouts of all pharmaceutical products and devices. An effective warehouse management system smoothly integrates modern technology and human expertise. Not only does a streamlined system for inventory tracking make for a faster and more efficient operation, it prevents products from getting misplaced, expiring on the shelf, or becoming contaminated from contact with other materials. And therefore aligns with FEFO inventory management.

Additionally, traceability is key to preventing loss due to theft or human error, and can help avoid the distribution of counterfeit products.

Repacking Product

A full-service pharmaceutical fulfillment center offers services that reach well beyond storage and bulk distribution. For example, at CCG Marketing Solutions, our facility offers custom kitting as well as starter kits, sales training, and personalized printing. As a 500,000 square foot operation, we combine state-of-the-art temperature-controlled storage with an expert team trained to prepare and ship pharmaceutical samples and medical devices to HCPs, field agents, sales representatives, and patients. And we do so with the care and specificity they demand.

Good Housekeeping for 3PL in Pharmaceutical Sample Fulfillment

Warehouse management in the pharmaceutical industry means keeping a good house, which means tending meticulously to the details. Cutting-edge technology goes a long way to facilitating transparency throughout the supply chain. Of course, tech functions best in collaboration with a sharp-eyed team. Accountability plays a major role in current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). An excellent warehouse features trained personnel who ward off trouble by spotting damages or contaminants, respond swiftly to issues, and pay close attention to their environment.

Warehouse location is important to pharmaceutical fulfillment, as well. CCG’s spectrum of services— from picking, storage, and distribution to 21CFR11 compliant order management and customer support—are advantageously located just 20 minutes from NYC. Contact us to learn more about our dedication to pharmaceutical sampling and fulfillment since 2005.