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Cold chain storage critical to pharma sector

Bolton, Lancashire: Pharmaceutical companies are increasing reliance, and spending, on cold-chain storage as temperature sensitive drugs are becoming more prevalent says a report from GBI Research.

The report states that pharma firms around the world are investing more and more in this storage solution in response to the increase in treatments such as vaccines, biologics, speciality pharma and personalised medicines that must be maintained at low temperatures.

Blockbuster vaccines such as Prevnar 13 and Gardasil (with 2011 sales of US$3.6bn and $1.2bn respectively) require storage in cold temperatures, as do top selling monoclonal antibodies Avastin, Enbrel, Rituxan, Herceptin and Remicade.
But this trend is not limited to branded drugs; GBI Research also expects generic products to drive cold-chain storage implementation, as prescriptions have more than doubled since 2000.

The demand for generic medications in emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil will correspondingly increase the need for low temperature handling and transportation facilities. As a result, it is estimated that the value of generic drug sales that require cold-chain storage will exceed $120bn by 2018.
With lower production costs, skilled workforces and favourable regulatory environments, pharma companies are outsourcing manufacturing operations to developing Asian countries.

GBI Research predicts a sizeable boost in spending on cold-chain storage resources for this region, from $1.1bn in 2011, to $2.5bn in 2018 – the greatest percentage increase of any region.
  In comparison, the US is predicted to escalate investment in this area from $2.6 billion to $3.5bn, whereas Europe will increase expenditure more modestly from $2bn to $2.2bn.