Temperature-sensitive products in a cold chain, like vaccines, serums and tests, must be kept under the proper conditions in order to maintain their potency. Any time such a product is removed from the cold chain and exposed to incorrect temperature, its potency will decrease.
Unfortunately, any loss of potency is permanent and irreversible. This cumulative damage may result in the drug being completely destroyed, with all of its potency lost. The cold chain system is a description of the processes for storing and transporting temperature–sensitive products in their potent states from the manufacturer to the end user. Much of the cold chain’s focus has been placed on the equipment used during storage and shipment, but Garvey Corp. has found a method to reduce the time out of the cold chain by 24 to 48 hours during the packaging process.
Vials full of drugs are stored in refrigerators or freezers, depending on the exact temperature that must be maintained. These vials do not get labeled until their final destination has been determined. When a shipment must be made, the vials are removed from the cold chain to begin the inspection and labeling process. However, bringing the cold vials into normal room conditions creates a challenge.
Just as a fog forms on the outside of a glass full of a cold beverage on a summer day, condensation forms on the outside of the glass vials when they are removed from cold storage. This moisture not only makes visual inspection very difficult, but it also interferes with label adhesion. The current solution, in most facilities, is to move the batch of vials into a conditioning room for 24 to 48 hours to allow the condensation to dissipate. This extended time out of the cold chain has nothing but negative effects on the product.
Garvey’s product combines their patented pressure-less loop technology with a high-volume laminar flow accumulator, to dry the vials and feed them in a single file to a labeler or inspection machine at rates up to 900 vials/min.
This is the fastest out-feed rate in the industry and this entire process is completed in less than 15 min.
The Automatic Vial Dryer utilizes a modular design and can be configured to fit in even the tightest production line layouts. Various infeed and outfeed options are offered and the machine will handle products ranging from 2-mL lyophilized products to 50-mL liquid filled vials.
Companies that handle temperature–sensitive products are responsible for not only delivering the product to the end user, but they must deliver goods that perform as expected. Understanding the cumulative effect of improper temperatures on these life-saving drugs makes clear the value of eliminating 24 to 48 hours of time out of the cold chain.