Two Ways to Help Protect the Integrity of Your High-Value Healthcare Shipments

Never underestimate the impact of losing a shipment—whether you’re facing complete loss, spoilage, or delay. For healthcare companies in particular, the potential for financial loss is magnified when transporting high-value products like time-sensitive cancer medications, temperature-sensitive vaccines, and expensive devices like MRI equipment and pacemakers. The margin for error is slim, and your logistics decisions may impact your bottom line.

Losses associated with temperature excursions alone in the healthcare industry are estimated at $35 billion. Here are two ways to help control the integrity and security of your high-value goods.

1. Insist on expert, round-the-clock monitoring

The possibility for risk or delay is everywhere. Pharma products from Asia could have longer lead-times, exposing the shipments to unforeseen delays and conditions. New defibrillators inadvertently misclassified on a form get stuck in customs. Temperature-sensitive drugs could be compromised by carrier delays or packaging failures.

Having a monitoring system in place can help to alert logistics operators, so they can resolve such issues before problems become acute. But not every healthcare company has the technology or resources to oversee such tasks. So it’s important to find a logistics provider who can expertly manage and track—and intervene, if necessary—to make sure your shipments are delivered in good condition and on time.

Clinical Supplies Management, which manages supply chains for clinical trial sites around the world, has temperatures, times, and destinations to control. In one clinical trial, they were faced with the need to ship a life-saving medicine for a rare disease that expire in 48 hours.

“This is a wall we had to get over. Because there are patients on the other side of the wall that needed to have this medication, we needed a partner,” says Gerald Finken, Founder, Chief Scientific Officer at CSM.  

That’s why they turned to UPS. UPS Proactive Response® service provides near-real-time visibility, and helps to make sure packages reach their destinations on schedule. It combines packaging intervention and remediation with proactive monitoring. “This platform is going to change the way we do clinical research in the future,” Finken said.

2. Protect your investment

No matter how much caution goes into keeping high-value shipments safe, things can still go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have a logistics provider who not only monitors your shipments across every touch point, but also has the ability to offer, through its affiliates, insurance to help cover expediting expenses, should a shipment need to be intercepted and rushed to its destination.

Take, for example, when a critical medicine was on its way to a patient in Boston—just as terrorists set off explosives at the Boston Marathon. Authorities locked down the city, so all UPS packages were held at sorting facilities.

But because the medicine’s shipper had opted for UPS Proactive Response® Secure, the local UPS facility staff worked to locate, prioritize and expedite the valuable package—at no additional cost. Even though it wasn’t necessary in this case, the accompanying insurance would have helped to cover the value of the goods up to the sales price.

When integrity matters most

Ultimately, monitoring and protecting your high-value medicines and devices shipments can help ensure your packages get to their destinations as planned and, if there is an incident, can help reduce your financial risk.

For healthcare companies with time-sensitive and high-value shipments, the combination of reliable transportation, proactive monitoring, intervention, and insurance coverage can go a long way toward easing anxieties about potential risks.

Protect your high-value healthcare shipments. Find out how at UPS.