Best Practices for Pharmaceutical Storage
Posted on February 4, 2021 by Paige Pesko
The goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to help mitigate the effects of illness. However, when medications and other pharmaceutical products are not stored properly, companies can end up causing the very issues they had hoped to prevent. At best, this can lead to medications not working as effectively as they should. At worst, this can lead medications to cause health issues from stomachaches to organ failure. That is why following the best practices for pharmaceutical storage is so essential.
The Storage Area
Proper pharmaceutical storage practices begin with the storage facility’s design. Naturally, this means staff should clean the facilities regularly, but more than this, owners should design facilities in such a way that makes them easy to clean and sanitize. This means evenly spacing out machinery and having flooring made of easy to maintain materials. Along with this, temperature control is essential to proper storage. If there is a loading bay or another opening to the outside, they should be properly sealed and kept separate from the main storage area.
The contents of every vessel should be properly labeled and documented with the name of the product, the date moved in and out, and the volume of the product. This is especially important in this industry. Mistakes with pharmaceutical products are catastrophic. Proper documentation helps prevent errors from happening. And if errors do happen, documents will help track where the issue originated from in order to keep it from happening again.
Review and Risk Management
In hospitals, there are checks in place to avoid medical errors. Medications are checked at every stage of the process, from their prescription by the doctor to their distribution at the pharmacy to their administration by nurses. The same should be true of those developing and storing the medications. Management should regularly review potential risks in their production and storage lines. Improvements made because of these checks can stop errors before they happen.
The last thing a company wants is to have their products contaminated by an outside source. But storing products in vessels made from reactive materials can still cause them to become contaminated. The best way to avoid this is to purchase storage containers made from food-grade, non-reactive materials. Experts tend to recommend using stainless steel storage tanks to ensure tanks are both durable and non-reactive.