The Importance and Role Of Pharmaceutical Storage Facilities In India

Quality is the major factor for Indian pharmaceutical companies with a high level of scrutiny on their storage and transport facilities. Storage is an important aspect of medical products, and good environmental control should be maintained on factors like temperature, light, ventilation, humidity, segregation, and sanitation.

The pharmaceutical products must be stored under specific conditions which help prevent contamination and deterioration. Some of the products require temperature controlled storage and so must be regularly monitored to check that the correct temperatures are maintained.

Good Storage Practice
A good storage practice must prevail in all circumstances when stacking pharmaceutical products.

  1. Storage areas must be designed to ensure good storage conditions and should be in accordance with the conditions described on the label if any.
  2. There must be sufficient space for the orderly storage of products belonging to various categories such as bulk and finished products, quarantine products, rejected, released, recalled or returned products.
  3. The storage area must be clean, dry and maintained within the permissible temperature limits.
  4. Products must be stored off the floor and well spaced to allow cleaning as well as inspection.
  5. The frequency at which the premises and storage areas must be cleaned and the methods to be used should be available in the form of a written sanitation programme.
  6. The products must be stored and handled in a way that will surely prevent any kind of contamination, cross-contamination or mix-ups.
  7. International conventions, national law and regulations on narcotics must be followed when storing narcotic drugs.
  8. Storage areas with the relevant additional safety and security measures must be dedicated solely for the purpose of storing of dangerous drugs, psychotropic substance, cytotoxic drugs, and radioactive materials.

Temperature Controlled Storage
The storage of temperature-sensitive products in pharmaceutical storage facilities in India  need extra care and caution. These products need to be stored under specifically mentioned temperature conditions, and even the slightest variance in the degree of temperature can cause it to be unusable.

For this, specific cold storage chains are available where the products can be safely stored without loss of efficacy or quality. The continuous temperature monitoring system in the cold storage can check the changes in temperatures and send automatic alerts in case of any erroneous functioning.

Vaccine Storage
Highly fragile and expensive vaccines need to be necessarily stored at the recommended temperature to provide effective immunization. Vaccines are sensitive biological products that may lose its effectiveness or may be completely unusable if exposed to temperatures other than the recommended range.

The shelf life and the potency of the vaccines are guaranteed by the manufacturers only if they are stored in the recommended temperature range. Refrigerators and freezers used for storing the vaccines must be of the recommended size and capacity to maintain the required temperature all through the year.

Basically, there are two types of vaccines:

Live attenuated: It is made up of the weakened form of the virus itself.  They can be easily destroyed by the effect of heat and light.

Therefore it is very much essential that they are stored and handled with extreme care. Live virus vaccines can withstand extreme freezing temperatures but can get spoilt when brought in room temperature.

Inactivated: This vaccine can get spoilt if exposed to fluctuating temperatures. If the vaccines are exposed for a prolonged time or to changing temperature ranges, it can adversely affect their potency and in all can get spoilt.

Maintaining proper pharmaceutical storage facilities in India is imminent for the safe ingestion of life-saving drugs and other medicines.