Pharmaceutical refrigeration products are particularly designed to store pharmaceuticals, and they are indispensable to many establishments ranging from health clinics to pharmacies and laboratories. They can be used to store medicines, vaccines (especially important during a pandemic), chemicals for experiments, and such products.
Pharmaceutical refrigeration products include specially manufactured refrigerators and freezers. Freezer models are fundamentally similar to refrigerators but with lower temperature settings. These units usually store items that require a delicate balance, and the lack of these machines in your establishment could pose a threat to your expensive and important pharmaceuticals. Therefore, it is crucial that you have the necessary equipment to consistently provide a hospitable environment for the special items you wish to store.
What is a Cold Chain in Medical Industry
Cold chain is a phrase commonly used when talking about pharmaceutical refrigeration. It is usually used in relation to vaccines and some medications. The term refers to the need to maintain a cold environment for the product from the beginning, its manufacture, to the end, its delivery to the customer/patient. There is a great responsibility every step of the way, and pharmaceutical refrigeration products help to ensure that the product’s journey is conducted in this “cold chain.”
The Features of Pharmaceutical Refrigeration
Pharmaceutical refrigerators and freezers are designed for various settings, and based on the intensity of the work environment, their size, functions, and capacity can change too. The following features can be found in many models, which set them apart in the industry. Depending on your priorities, you can track down a model with the qualities you need and cross the storage needs off your list.
- Precise temperature settings are the most important feature. Chemicals, vaccines, and other medical and experimental products require special temperature settings. They are usually expected to maintain a stable temperature between 36ºF to 46ºF degrees. Though this temperature requirement can change for some chemicals and vaccines, you should consult your supplier about the needs of your particular products.
- Temperature monitoring is an extension of temperature control. With pharmaceutical refrigeration, you have more control over your machine and a greater responsibility due to the contents of your fridge. With temperature monitoring, the refrigerator or freezer will be able to alert you if the temperature falls out of the intended range. This feature is extremely important since, with timely intervention, you can save many of your products.
- Security locks are intended to prevent unauthorized access to the contents of your refrigerator. Pharmaceutical products are usually very expensive and possibly dangerous. It is important to take measures to protect your products from being stolen or handled poorly. Most locks will alert you in cases of break-ins and unauthorized actions.
- Data collection is one of the other important features of pharmaceutical refrigerators. These units are able to digitally store data for you, whether it be about the samples you are holding or the study in general. Thanks to this feature, you will save a lot of time on paperwork.
- The automatic defrost feature is present in almost all pharmaceutical refrigeration products to protect the contents of the unit.
Types of Pharmaceutical Refrigerators and Freezers
There are different sizes, shapes, and capacities you can choose from when investing in pharmaceutical refrigeration.
- Reach-in pharmaceutical refrigeration models are the most prevalent models. They are taller; thus, they take up more space. They can come with glass or solid doors, based on your preference.
- Undercounter models are perfect for smaller environments. You can use them to store the products you use the most and conveniently reach them under your counter. However, don’t forget that you will still need to create breathing room for the unit to function properly.
- Countertop pharmaceutical refrigerations are also very compact and convenient. You can opt for a countertop model if you don’t need a lot of capacity.
- Portable models are suited for more dynamic environments. Operation rooms, labs, and clinics can benefit from being able to carry the chemicals and meds from one place to another without removing them from their storage space.
Home Refrigerators vs. Pharmaceutical Refrigeration
Since home refrigerators are cheaper than pharmaceutical refrigeration, most entrepreneurs wonder why they should choose the pricier option, especially if their establishment is small. While the initial price can seem unnecessary, pharmaceutical refrigerators will prove more profitable in the long run. There are several reasons why these models rise above the other alternatives:
- Temperature consistency can be vital when storing delicate products. Pharmaceutical refrigerators are designed to minimize fluctuation for the safety of your stored items.
- There is a uniform temperature in medical fridges. Home refrigeration does not maintain a consistent temperature level in all parts of the refrigerator, so the products you keep in different parts are in danger of going bad.
- Safety locks and alerts are must-haves when you are handling such expensive products. While home refrigerators can be the cheaper option initially, you cannot afford the loss of your vaccines or medications. You have to take measures to protect them from possible break-ins.
- Interior designs of pharmaceutical refrigerators are meant for easy use in environments such as clinics and laboratories. The shelves and drawers are often removable so that you can arrange their places in the most convenient way for you.
- Medical refrigerations are equipped with precise digital thermostats to measure and display the temperature of your unit at all times. These sensitive measuring tools are small but important additions since they allow you to monitor your fridge’s performance and ensure your products’ safety.
- Frost is a big issue in home-level refrigerators. Due to insufficient airflow, the back of the unit tends to show signs of frost, which could affect the sanity of your products. Units manufactured for pharmaceutical refrigeration purposes are designed with this issue in mind. The airflow is maintained with fans or ducts, and the frost is prevented.
Pharmaceutical refrigeration is a delicate business, so you have to pay attention to every step to ensure the cold chain is maintained, and the products are safe. Once you have assessed your needs and expectations from the machinery, you can start furnishing your business with the necessary equipment. Make sure to stay cool and safe!