Friday, June 15, 2012

Aidmatrix partner UPS delivers $9 million of flu vaccine to Laos

Full story posted by Healthcare Packaging on May 11, 2012

Walgreens donates 375,000 doses that UPS air-ships more than 9,000 miles in five days through five countries, maintaining mandatory 2° to 8°C temperatures through a range of climates.

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In late April, as flu season approached in Southeast Asia, Walgreens' donation of 375,000 individual doses of seasonal flu vaccine reached Lao People's Democratic Republic (referred to as Lao PDR or Laos) for administration to a population in need.

Sourced from Europe, the vaccines in glass vials were initially shipped to the Louisville, KY, facility of UPS. Each of two pallet loads of vaccines was loaded into a PharmaPort ™360 pharmaceutical-grade, temperature-controlled container from Cool Containers. Both containers were preconditioned by UPS so that they were within the 2°C to 8°C temperature range required to keep the product efficacious.

What seems like a logistical nightmare to some was a challenge that UPS met through nearly 50 company experts who planned, managed, and tracked the air shipments from Louisville to Laos. Mark Davis, product manager with healthcare logistics global strategy at UPS, explains, "One of the critical requirements of the project was that throughout the transportation cycle we maintain that two- to eight-degree Celsius temperature range. We put together a team of healthcare logistics experts and came up with a UPS Temperature True solution that we provided to Walgreens, which they subsequently accepted. 

"There are no second chances when it comes to moving a product this critical," states Davis. "You think about the importance of the shipment to Walgreens, and to UPS, but unlike here in the U.S., where we can walk to a corner Walgreens store for a flu shot, in Laos you can't do that. So these vaccines are extremely important for the people of Laos. At the end of the day it really is about getting the vaccines to those who are in need. It's really about the patient."

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