Pharma eases into shipping security upgrade

Most big pharma companies now have at least one Certified Cargo Shipping Facility for use in self-inspections to meet the so-called 100 percent rule, the post-9/11 mandate requiring all cargo on passenger aircraft be inspected to guard against terrorist threat. The rule went into effect Aug. 1.

CCSFs require certification by the Transportation Security Administration. Pfizer is among the companies that worked with the agency over the past year to align pharma shipping procedures with TSA requirements, reports Pharmaceutical Commerce.

Certification requires such equipment as X-ray or similar scanners in addition to training for document preparation, recordkeeping and reporting. Those without the certification, but who ship drugs requiring cold chain handling, have revised their packaging procedures or re-routed shipments to all-cargo flights.

DB Schenker and UPS are two logistics providers that have certified facilities. Fed Ex does not, but says it uses a continuous tracking process to ensure that screened materials are appropriately secured in transit.

American Airlines Cargo and DHL are also among those contributing to what's being described as a smooth transition to the new shipping inspection requirement. The pair provided training to prep drugmakers, as reported in March.

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