The growing trend of temperature-controlled packaging
Temperature-controlled packaging advancements are often automatically associated with the human healthcare and pharmaceutical sector; however, they are playing an ever more pivotal role within the animal health field.
There is a growing trend for the type of sophisticated thermal packaging design traits, traditionally utilised within the human pharmaceutical industry, inspiring improved temperature-controlled packaging (TCP) solutions that are becoming more widely available to the animal health and veterinary market.
These more advanced TCP products are being increasingly incorporated within animal healthcare to ensure vaccines and medications are transported safely while complying with rigid, regulatory requirements.
Animal health vaccine implications
There are costly implications if vital vaccines are not stored and transported at the correct temperature, or if they are exposed to temperatures outside the recommended ranges.
If vaccines become too cold or too hot at any point they can have wide-reaching repercussions with any temperature excursions, potentially resulting in the vaccine losing its effectiveness. As they naturally biodegrade over time, storage outside of any recommended temperature range, including during transportation, may accelerate this deterioration and compromise the vaccines’ capabilities when providing perceived protection.
Those handling such vaccines should ensure they are aware of, and meet all the necessary cold chain compliance requirements, to help protect vaccines and medications destined for use on animals.
New innovations within the TCP industry are aiding the day-to-day operations and necessary cold chain compliance requirements, of professionals within the veterinary sector. This is beneficial for veterinary surgeons who are at the frontline of animal health and welfare on a daily basis.
It’s an industry step in the right direction as the working methods of vets continue to evolve; the professional sector is seeing a rise in the trend for home visits and more mobile veterinary care.
These emerging practices within the animal healthcare profession increasingly require the longer transportation of time and temperature-sensitive drugs.
As a consequence, those operating within the industry increasingly rely on TCP vendors, serving the sector, to provide ever more innovative products they can trust to ensure the safe and compliant transportation of medicines and vaccines.
In regards to vaccines, vaccination storage and transportation compliance is absolutely paramount to the safe and legal use of these medications.
The appropriate storage of medication and vaccinations is vital within the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) guidelines and the Royal Veterinary College Guidelines for the responsible prescription of medicines. In order to ensure we mitigate any avoidable vaccine reactions, it is critical that we maintain vaccinations at the right temperature.
“This is particularly important in ambulatory equine veterinary practices. It is normal procedure to leave the practice early morning and not return for 8-10 hours driving between calls, seeing horses on different yards. During the day, one of the most common routine procedures is an equine vaccination. It is paramount that we can carry vaccinations in the car all day knowing they will be safely maintained at the correct temperature, especially in the summer months when there can be large fluctuations in temperature inside the vehicle”. Dr. Charlotte Inness BVSC MRCVS
Without maintaining that vaccination at the right temperature, you can’t be confident the vaccine is safe to administer and you can’t be confident the vaccination will be effective or remain biologically stable.
Appropriate maintenance of vaccinations or the cold storage of pharmaceuticals is paramount to stay within the right licensing guidelines, within the VMD recommendations, and within the Royal College’s Code of Professional conduct.
Very simply, you could be risking the animal’s health. As a result, this means the prescriber is susceptible to professional and legal consequences.
An incorrectly stored or prescribed product may lose its efficacy. In the case of vaccinations, this means a failure to protect the animal from the disease. This also means a lower proportion of the herd/flock is protected, and this can promote the spread of disease.
“A consequence to a poorly stored vaccine could be that an animal would experience an adverse reaction, whereby the injection might cause a stiff neck in a horse or a lump at the injection site. This may resolve over a day or so, or can have more severe consequences on the horse’s health causing episodes of colic or poor performance. Abscesses can also develop at the site of injection.” Dr. Charlotte Inness BVSC MRCVS
In the farming and equine industries, failure to be effectively medicated may breach the rules set out in the Animal Welfare Act for example. A good example could be Rabies vaccination in dogs. If the vaccine does not work as it wasn’t correctly stored, and the dog was subsequently imported into the UK, it is possible for us to end up with an outbreak of a major and fatal human and animal disease.
So far the TCP industry has typically been based on human health, but increasingly vets are gladdened to see veterinary focused providers and products entering the market to better support their work.
However, within the industry, there is a further need for more education about the importance of cold storage and these facilities being used correctly.
Vet-Cool temperature-controlled packaging
The Vet-Cool is a mobile product that is completely power-free. It enables vets to maintain product temperature whilst in their car but also allows for the device to be taken into homes or practices, without requiring an additional power supply. Vets can go to any farm, field, stable, or any property without having to worry about unplugging their cold chain storage device. It needs to be completely independent of electricity.
The Vet-Cool panels are frozen overnight, then the system is conditioned and routinely quality checked to ensure that it is the right temperature. It is then good to use for up to 72 hours without refreezing the panels.
With farm and equine vets travelling great distances, mobile cold chain devices like the Vet-Cool are becoming even more crucial.
It is important to remember it is not just vets who use the Vet-Cool and other TCP products. Lots of products can be used by farmers, for example on herds (which are getting larger in size). As such the products may be in the field for several hours, and often this is done in the warm weather. This is an active role where we should be educating farmers on having safe storage of these products and effectively administering them.
We use our mobile temperature-controlled packaging device for vaccinations and pharmaceuticals. Anything that needs refrigerating or kept at a cool temperature we carry in our mobile device, stocking on a day-by-day basis to maximise efficiency and reduce risk.
In some circumstances, a vet could be carrying pharmaceuticals and vaccines worth thousands of pounds so having a device that is trustworthy is crucial.
Why not view our full temperature-controlled packaging range here, or alternatively give us a call on +44 (0) 1904 607 600 so we can discuss your animal healthcare needs in further detail.