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Pharma: Stay Cool with IATA’s Checklist

 The World Health Organization estimates that, by 2015, more than 4 million annual child deaths will be prevented by immunization programs. Air cargo is critical in flying temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals to their destination in time to be effective.

Temperature changes during the journey, requires the establishment of a complex logistical method to maintain the shipment integrity. The transportation of healthcare products by air not only requires specific equipment, storage facilities... but also harmonized handling procedures and strong cooperation among the cold chain partners. To achieve this, a broad process of dialogue, joint strategy and standardization within the industry is essential.

Harmonized procedures: checked!

The industry is seeking to improve the handling processes in line with existing regulations and standards. Recently, IATA established a “Standard Acceptance Checklist” for time and temperature sensitive healthcare shipments. The use of this checklist became mandatory from July 2013. Its purpose is to ensure airlines and ground handling agents perform the minimum checks required according to the regulations.

The checklist complements the mandatory use of the "time and temperature sensitive label" that was introduced last year. Both requirements are described in the second edition of the IATA Temperature Control Regulations manual (TCR).

The IATA Standard Acceptance Checklist is available for free in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish on IATA website:

The world of C: cooperation, cold chain and CNS

With six of the ten largest drug companies based in the US, pharma represents an important market for air cargo in North America. That is why CNS recently organized the 3rd edition of its Need to Know event focused on the cold chain and temperature management in Miami.

The one day event, attended by over 50 air cargo professionals, featured 11 speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise on various aspects of the cold chain. This included two case studies:

  • American Airlines Cargo and LifeConEx demonstrated the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders for the successful handling of time and temperature sensitive shipments 
  • Lufthansa tested passive packaging on tarmac

The main conclusion of the day was that all stakeholders need to embrace the latest standards and best practice in order to transport time and temperature sensitive products. This will save costs and ensure shipment integrity is not compromised.

Presentations are available for download on CNS website


Additional information

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