Phillips Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited has encouraged pharmacists in Nigeria to embrace and learn the system of cold chain products management, saying they are critically needed for a healthier nation.
The company’s Head of Project, Dhananjay Jagtap, made this call in an exclusive interview with Pharmanews recently.
While reiterating the importance of cold chain products management to pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors in Nigeria, Jagtap, popularly known as DJ, stated that cold chain products facilities are of topmost importance in this modern age with new therapeutic molecules and biopharmaceutics being cold chain products.
He added that the widely discussed vaccines for the current COVID-19 pandemic require cold chain supply to the end user, adding that any break in temperature in the cold chain products supply chain will not only damage and also render the pharmaceutical product ineffective but may also cause unintended adverse effects and ultimately put the life of patients at risk.
Jagtap further stated that the cold chain products segment is an interesting field with an untapped potential for success, though not without its challenges.
He said: “A good cold chain facility is a combination of a strong financial investment and years of best practice implementation and experience.
“A lot of effort is required to maintain a cold chain facility to its maximum standard. Continuous training should be in place for the team that will be handling the cold chain operations.
“The whole team within the organisation need to understand the importance of cold chain facility for ultimate patient safety, including the HR, who will recruit the right personnel; and the top management who will need to allocate necessary resources to ensure staff remain well briefed and motivated, yet not overwhelmed.”
Lending his voice to the company’s effort on cold chain products facility and management over the years, the organisation’s Head of Regulatory Team, Pharm. Omattah Samson, said Phillips Pharmaceuticals has been dealing in cold chain products since 2015.
Samson said: “Phillips Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited deals in cold chain products in two categories. These include cold chain storage of 2 to 8 Degrees Celsius, which majorly consists of vaccines like hepatitis B vaccines, typhoid vaccines, rabies vaccines, anti-snake venom, monoclonal antibodies (MABs); and cold chain storage of -20 degrees Celsius, which majorly consist of diagnostic reagents used in viral load testing of HIV, hepatitis B and C, HPV, TB, SARS – CoV 2 (COVID amplification kits).
He added: “We have gathered expertise and experience in managing such a challenging supply chain practice which involves some of the lifesaving products. Our Supply chain capabilities is extended to pan–Nigeria coverage.
“Phillips Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited, as a part of Phillips Pharma Group, a trusted partner for supply chain in the sub-Saharan Africa region, are known for their highest quality standards of supply chain particularly cold chain management.
“We have a top of the class validated cold room facility with dedicated back up power facilities to ensure we have an uninterrupted operational capacity. The validated facility is monitored 24/7, using an online remote temperature monitoring system that can alert our well-trained team of staff through an SMS in case of an urgency.
“Our cold chain facility involves packing of the products into validated cooler boxes to our client’s doorsteps, using our temperature-controlled transport vehicles. The whole system and each step in this process is quality controlled by a responsible pharmacist on site. Each quality assurance system in the market is overseen by a group quality head to further enforcement.”
Also speaking on the company’s commitment to high standard cold chain products management, the company’s group head of Quality Assurance, Pharm. Punit Solanki said: “We would not distribute a product that we would not be able to give to our family and that shows the highest commitment to quality from our group business”
While calling on pharmacists to explore cold chain products aspect in the interest of the country, the company’s CEO, Muyur Khakhar Jagtap said: “We need more supply chain pharmacists in Nigeria. Although cold chain supply chain is challenging, it is as rewarding as we speak. In order for global health improvement as part of UHC, we need more consolidated efforts towards quality of pharmaceutical products, since access and affordability alone may not be an actual solution. It is an interesting field with an untapped potential for success.
“We encourage more pharmacists gearing up to learn and perfect the cold chain management in Nigeria for a healthier nation.”